Did you know that in addition to making a valuable contribution to society and bringing purpose to your life, being kind has many benefits for our overall health and wellbeing?
Some of our favourite benefits are listed below.
Acts of kindness are proven to increase:
THE LOVE HORMONE
Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re in anxious or shy in a social situation.
A 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who are altruistic—in this case, people who were generous financially, such as with charitable donations—were happiest overall.
According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!
Random acts of kindness boost your self-esteem because they go against the notion that you aren't valuable. It's a great idea for people with low self-esteem to partake in acts of kindness.
Acts of kindness are proven to decrease:
Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller!
Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population!
A group of highly anxious individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction, and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. University of British Columbia Study
Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.
Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.