On World Kindness Day, people around the world are encouraged to be kind to themselves, others, and the world. It’s a day to celebrate the small yet transformative acts that make the world a better place. 

The Benefits of Kindness

Not only does kindness benefit the social good, but research shows that kindness has the added bonus of boosting our physical and mental health. People who perform acts of kindness experience: 

  • Increased confidence, optimism, and compassion
  • Improved relationships 
  • Decreased loneliness
  • Lower blood pressure and cortisol 
  • Healthier immune systems
  • Reduced stress
  • Boosted levels of feel-good neurotransmitters 
  • Increased happiness

Embracing the Character Strength of Kindness on World Kindness Day

According to the VIA Institute on Character, these words might resonate with someone with Kindness as one of their character strengths: “I am helpful and empathic and regularly do nice favors for others without expecting anything in return.” On World Kindness Day and every day, we can capitalize on our character strengths to create a world where wellbeing wins for all.

At its core, kindness is the act of being nice to others. It’s about extending a hand, a warm smile, or a kind word without ulterior motives. It’s also the generous sharing of your time, resources, and talents with those in need and the compassionate act of genuinely being there for someone and offering your support. Kindness is understanding that every person is worthy of attention and affirmation, not out of a sense of duty or obligation but simply because we are all human.

But kindness is more than just a feel-good sentiment. It’s part of a unique set of character strengths that, when noticed and employed, can promote engagement, strong relationships, increased wellbeing, and more. This is true for everyone, including students with autism. In one study, educators identified kindness among the top five positive character traits of elementary school-aged students with autism. Let’s shine a light on what is RIGHT with us and those around us so we might all flourish together.

Is Kindness one of your character strengths? Take the Values in Action Survey (VIA) to find out! 

Kickstart Kindness in Your Classroom 

Teaching kindness in the classroom is a great way to make a lasting impact on the lives of your students and, by extension, the world. And, teaching kindness can be inclusive and adaptable to the diverse needs of all students, including your students with autism. That’s why we’ve created a free printable activity so that you can introduce the science and skill of kindness to your autistic students. 

Kickstart kindness in the classroom with this free printable Kind/Not Kind sorting activity! Use this flashcard deck (16 flashcards included) as a way for students to receptively and expressively identify what kindness looks like and doesn’t look like. This is also a great opportunity to initiate discussions about the specific behaviors we exhibit when we’re being kind.

An act of generosity doesn’t need to cost a lot of time or money. It’s the small things that can make a big difference. And, it starts with you. Kindness is contagious!

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