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Why is Kindness so Rewarding?

It’s now February and that means it is Feel Good February! The aim of Feel Good February is to encourage us to initiate random acts of kindness to give a happiness boost to others and ourselves. A lot of us teachers have decided to take on the job for its rewarding nature. We love passing on our knowledge to our students and watching them go on to flourish in the real world is so satisfying for us to see. So, let’s ask ourselves, why is kindness so rewarding?

The simple answer to this question is dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain when you undertake an action which causes you to feel satisfied. Initiating random acts of kindness is one of those activities which can trigger a dopamine hit.

There are plenty of benefits in receiving a hit of dopamine every now and then. Aside from it obviously making you feel good, it also aids in our physiological and neurological functions. Some of these functions include memory and focus, sleep, mood and our ability to tolerate pain. Once these are in working order, we can experience greater happiness, motivation and focus.

It is more important than ever to be kind to one another, regardless of the benefits it offers us. Many of us have just experienced one of the toughest years of our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen our friends and family struggle through lockdowns, battle isolation and, in some cases, fight the virus. If this isn’t reason enough to be nice to one another, we need to take some time to reflect on why this is the case.

Even through the pandemic, we saw some extraordinary acts of kindness.  We witnessed kind acts of humanity with grocery shopping being delivered to the vulnerable, others paying it forward to those in need and even some creative people making masks and scrubs for frontline workers. There is no doubt the recipients of those good deeds were the primary beneficiaries of these random acts, and this should be enough of a reason to keep these acts up.

It’s important we continue to encourage others to undertake random acts of kindness as well. However, it is especially crucial we teach the next generation to be kind to one another. Initiating random acts of kindness in your school can be as simple as introducing the Teacher Professional Development Random Acts of Kindness resource to your class. This inspires the cherubs to consider others and do something to boost their classmates’ happiness.

So, next time you’re considering a random act of kindness for someone else, don’t think twice!

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