We all know it’s common courtesy to be kind, but did you know there are proven health benefits as well? From buying someone a cup of coffee, to volunteering at a local organization, a little kindness each day can go a long way. Below are a few proven health benefits of being kind to others.
· Increased oxytocin- this hormone acts as a chemical messenger to create that “warm and fuzzy” feeling from the brain and spreads all throughout the body.
· Increased serotonin- the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness.
· Reduced anxiety- the Department of Psychology at The University of British Columbia conducted a study that revealed, “Engaging in kind acts increases positive affect in socially anxious individuals.”
· Helper’s high endorphins- when you share kindness, it makes you feel good and want to help again due to the release of endorphins, the chemicals within your body that trigger a positive feeling full of energy.
Practicing kindness can become a healthy habit with positive social outcomes.
A study conducted by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation assessed teachers implementing kindness lessons within their curriculum for a year. “Teachers spent about 18 minutes preparing Random Acts of Kindness lesson plans and 34 minutes delivering lessons per month. Teachers rated the lessons as engaging and adaptable to students’ academic and cultural needs.” After the study, teachers found “their classroom climate as significantly more positive, especially related to students’ involvement in community service, respect for one another, and feelings of classroom cohesion.” Kindness can become more than common courtesy, it can become a habit.
Exercise your kindness muscle.
Start each day with a conscious goal to do at least one act of kindness for someone. Practicing kindness each day will help improve your overall wellbeing; the more you practice, the more likely it will become a habit.
Everyday examples of kindness:
· Write a thank you card
· Buy someone a cup of coffee
· Donate a blanket or towels to a shelter
· Leave a good review on a local business page if you’ve had a positive experience
· Wash dishes (that aren’t yours)
· Volunteer at a local organization
· Rake leaves for your elderly neighbor
You do not have to pay a price to be kind -- you can implement it each day in the little things. Giving someone a helping hand can lead to a healthier you. From holding a door for someone, to giving a compliment, kindness counts and so does your health.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” -Mother Teresa