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Is Kindness Contagious?

Giving coffee to a homeless person.

Giving coffee to a homeless person. #SpreadSmiles #SpreadKindness

kind-ness : noun
/kīn(d)nis/

1. the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

The power of kindness is both inspiring and moving. When done correctly, with the right intentions, I truly believe it can help change the world. In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 64.5 million people volunteered in 2012. Why is everyone being so nice? Science helps break down the mystery.

There have been multiple scientific studies that have been done which actually proves that kindness is in fact contagious. When you see someone else helping another person it gives us a good “elevated” feeling, which in turn causes us to go out and do something philanthropic.

In a 2009 study, researchers performed an experiment in which they showed viewers a nature documentary, funny TV clip, or an uplifting segment from the Oprah Winfrey Show. After the clips had ended, the researcher pretended to have internal computer problems and told them that they could go. As they were leaving, she asked them if they would be willing to complete a questionnaire for another study (unbeknownst to the volunteers, the actual experiment was measuring whether or not they helped with the additional study). The researcher noted the questionnaire was boring and that the volunteers could leave whenever they wanted. The results showed that the participants who watched the Oprah clip spent twice as long filling out the questionnaire.

Seeing someone perform an honest deed (especially if they are helping another person), makes us feel good, often eliciting a warm, fuzzy feeling in our chest. This positive, uplifting emotion, known as “elevation.” Those who watched the Oprah segment were prime examples of this feeling.

A simple smile can go a long way. Sending out good vibes from personal reactions is always a good thing. Not only does it improve your well being, but chances are it improves the person your interacting with. Good vibes attract good vibes. It just is what it is. Kindness is contagious- Science proofs this to be true. The upcoming holiday enables everyone to be unselfish. You are buying gifts for others and showing people you care. Keep up the hype and try doing something for a stranger. Share your experience with us in the comment section.

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