Why We Do What We Do
The Smile campaign is designed to promote kindness, compassion and gratitude, with the goal of leading to a sense of interconnection with others.
The psychology of giving, or doing something nice for others has been clinically written to release neurochemicals that result in a sense of well being in both the recipient and the giver.
When we practice random acts of kindness:
- It releases an energy. We feel better and the recipients of our acts feel better, which then makes them more likely to be kind to other people.
- It can release neurochemicals that result in a sense of well-being–the “helper’s high”–as Allan Luks and Peggy Payne describe the healing power of doing good. In fact, the neural circuits that are involved in chemical “highs” are the same ones activated by kindness and compassion.
- It can reduce pain. Dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous opiods are released by kind behavior.
- It enhances the release of oxytocin in interactions where two or more people are engaged in kindness behavior. In turn, bonds between those who are kind to one another are strengthened.
- It enhances both physical and mental health. Many physical ailments are either precipitated by or aggravated by stress. Kindness reduces stress.