Whether you’re afraid of heights or not, flying is generally stressful but, there’s nothing worse than sitting next to a crying baby. Right? Well, for a second consider how the baby’s parent is feeling.
Georgia’s story is a perfect example. Like many young mothers, she hadn’t flown with her four-month-old baby before. She was nervous and exhausted from lack of sleep the night before but it was all going to be worth it, she was going to introduce her baby to her family for the first time.
Having successfully negotiated her way onto the plane with hand luggage and her baby in a sling across her chest, she sat down in her seat. Instantly she could tell that the man seated next to her was annoyed to be sitting next to a mother and a small baby. It was almost as if Georgia’s baby felt the tension, as he immediately started to niggle and cry. And the crying did not stop. Feeling completely stressed out, Georgia called the airhostess to ask if there were any other free seats; thankfully there were and Georgia and her bawling baby were seated next to a woman travelling alone.
With Georgia on the brink of tears, the woman asked whether she could hold her baby. The kind stranger lifted the baby to the window and in seconds, his crying stopped. After holding the baby for most of the flight, the woman then gently rocked him to sleep in her arms.
There were no words to describe Georgia’s gratitude but it’s stories like these that highlight the power of humanity in the everyday world. A small act of understanding and kindness turned an awful ordeal into a pleasant memory.
In fact, whether you’re giving or receiving, numerous scientific studies have shown that an act of kindness has a positive effect on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a naturally occurring neurochemical that has a calming, mood regulating effect and it’s regarded as a “feel good” substance.
“People who engage in kind acts become happier over time,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person – more moral, optimistic, and positive,” she told the Huffington Post.
Kindness is contagious; make it your goal to perform at least one act of kindness a day. It could be helping an elderly person across the street or holding their bag; it could be as small as asking a cashier how their day is going. Being kind is win-win behaviour, so next time you feel put out – relax, take a deep breath and try and put yourself in someone else’s position; the outcome is likely to leave you both better for it.