This article from Mason’s main news site covers the launch of Mason Chooses Kindness and describes its mission.
Intentional acts of kindness forge positive relationships with family members, colleagues, and communities. We all appreciate being treated with kindness, especially when faced with difficult circumstances. Where anger fractures bonds, kindness can heal them. Kindness is also a pleasant mental state to cultivate.
Kindness and awe are connected aspects of well-being. When we choose to be kind, we’re more likely to notice the wonder around us than we would be otherwise. When we feel awe, we’re motivated to choose kind words and actions.
Small acts of kindness resonate in all our lives. Kindness means a behavioral response of compassion and actions that are selfless; or a mindset that places compassion for others before one’s interests. Kindness is linked inextricably to happiness and contentment—at both psychological and spiritual levels. The miracle of kindness is that it is contagious and something we should all want to pass on and spread to many others.
The Greater Good Science Center presents a wealth of articles on the latest research into how kindness impacts well-being.
This website offers free, self-paced classes and activities on kindness.
Connections between people hold our culture together. While the Internet can sometimes take away the common ground we need to understand each other, it can also build new communities around kindness.
Some studies found that participants who believed others were generous became more generous themselves. Someone who instead learns that her peers prize empathy will put more work to empathize themselves, even with people who are different from them.
Each time we release kindness out into the world, no matter how small, a powerful surge of energy pulses through humanity uplifting everyone in its path. To fully understand the true impact of a compassionate act, we need to look at the power of kindness through a scientific lens. The “halo effect” is a cognitive bias where positive traits like kindness influence the overall impression of a person, explaining why displaying kindness makes you more desirable. We possess a powerful privilege to choose kindness. By adopting more intentional actions we can power an ongoing wave of compassionate energy.
Mason’s Philip Wilkerson asked himself, “How do I stay aware of the social issues that black men face without getting jaded or cynical about the world we live in?” In his blog, Philip tells readers that they can still have an attitude of gratitude while simultaneously fighting injustices even during a pandemic.
This article shares videos and infographics about the science of kindness. Kindness increases, energy, happiness the love hormone, pleasure, serotonin, and a person’s lifespan. Kindness decreases pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. Kindness is teachable and contagious. This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!
A new study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion by UBC Clinical Psychology professor Dr. Lynn Alden and SFU SSHRC post-doctoral fellow Jennifer Trew suggests performing acts of kindness might help lessen social anxiety. A core treatment goal for social anxiety disorder is to increase involvement in social situations, which socially anxious individuals are motivated to avoid. Social exposure exercises might be enhanced by encouraging anxious individuals to focus on kind actions.
Casual connections with people we encounter in the course of daily life can give us the sense of belonging to a community.
These articles from author and researcher Dr. Christine Porath explore the importance of kindness at work.
Amid concerns of rising neighborhood tensions in frustrating circumstances, acts of kindness and solidarity are growing. Communities around the world are implementing initiatives to help each other. The United Nations Headquarters in New York called for volunteerism. Community volunteers could be called upon to carry out tasks, such as administering wellness checks for seniors and people with disabilities, food/water delivery, and pet assistance. Acts like these are extremely helpful while the UN helps nations respond to COVID-19.
No more than ever before, acts of kindness in the midst of this pandemic appear to be having a viral moment. Kindness has a domino effect.
Things are uncertain right now. We’ve known for a long time that panic spreads. Experts more recently have come to understand emotional contagion, the mechanism by which people’s emotions (positive or negative) “go viral” within groups, influencing our thoughts and actions. Reducing negative — and bolstering positive — emotional contagion will help us all weather this very unpredictable storm, together.
With the coronavirus crisis still brutally affecting our nation, thousands of everyday people are donating their time and money to help strangers. In a way, we’re witnessing dueling contagions: one deadly, the other ameliorative. Mirror images of each other. The most basic example of the “kindness contagion” at work is charitable giving. And like other pathogens, the kindness contagion is capable of mutating, jumping from one type of altruistic behavior to another.
In addition to viral contagion, social contagion is an equally important concept to keep in mind during these difficult times to help nurture the best of human nature. As this unprecedented global pandemic develops, likely getting much worse before it gets much better, it becomes especially important to be mindful of and attentive to social contagion theory and to use it to nurture the better angels of our nature rather than the worse and darker angels.