It’s a crazy, scary world out there right now, and it’s hard to think about others when there’s so much raining down on us. We’re trying to keep our businesses afloat. We don’t know what to do about our kids. We’re worried about older family members. Geeze, we can’t even get through the grocery shopping without finding at least one empty shelf where our favorite items usually are. We’re frustrated. We’re grumpy. And there’s nowhere to run away to. But here’s the thing: most other people are feeling the same way.
Dr. Bonnie Henry is the provincial health officer for the Province of BC. Since televised briefings started, months ago now, Dr. Henry has encouraged us to be kind. That’s great advice for everyone, and important advice for business owners and managers, because being kind pays off in quite a number of ways.
It will make you happier – Being kind to others, even in the smallest of ways, results in an increase in a brain chemical that makes us feel happy. Holding the door for someone with an armful, or letting someone cut in front of you is a small price to pay for a happiness boost!
It will make you healthier – Our brain actually releases a bunch of chemicals when we are kind. Together, they reduce inflammation, pain, anxiety, stress, and even blood pressure. They also increase your immunity and protect the heart.
It has a ripple effect – Those who receive or even witness a kind act also gain physiological benefits and more likely to be kind to others themselves. Kindness is contagious, even when you wear a mask.
It promotes a positive and productive workplace – Acts of kindness make people feel stronger and more energetic. They increase feelings of self-esteem and calmness. That combination of physical and mental well-being means greater productivity.
It sustains cooperative success – Whether it’s built into your character or a learned skill, being kind to others builds sustained relationships, cooperation, and collaboration; all keys to success in business and in life. It’s not the kind of “you owe me one now,” trading of favours though. The acts of kindness must be sincere with no expectation of a future reward.
With so many people feeling out of sorts these days, I think being kind will have even greater rewards. Whether it’s in the office, at your retail shop, or out in the community, take the opportunities that present themselves to do some small kindness for someone else. We all want to stay healthy and happy, so consider those opportunities a gift – to you, to others, to your family, your business and your community.