Kindness comes with many health benefits for both the giver and the receiver. It costs nothing and requires very little. Here are some of the ways your quality of life will improve when you treat others well.
Kindness can trigger the release of various hormones within your body. In an article written for nytimes.com, Natalie Angier stated, “Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation.”
Both being kind and being the recipient of kindness aids in the release of serotonin. This chemical is responsible for things such as wound healing, happiness, sleeping, mood stabilization, and digestion to name a few. Needless to say, a little kindness goes a long way in terms of physical and mental health benefits. It’s scientifically proven to help you feel better!
Being kind can even help you live longer. Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness: In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents states, “People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.”
If you’re looking for a way to increase your energy, consider doing more random acts of kindness. There have been studies done that show being kind makes you feel more energetic. It has also been shown to increase your self worth. Additionally, it’s known to reduce feelings of depression and help you feel more calm. These amazing benefits are just a drop in the bucket of what a little kindness can do for you.
It’s no surprise that kindness and happiness go hand in hand. According to an article written for dartmouth.edu, “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.” Simply put: kind deeds and generosity have been proven to make people happy.
Kindness also activates feelings of pleasure. Dartmouth.edu also states, “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.’” The emotional reward you will receive is a high many people seek continuously.
The physical, mental and emotional benefits of being kind are astronomical. Bring more happiness into your life by being good to others.