Giving it turns out is good for You!
On Sunday 17th February it’s Random Acts of Kindness Day! An entire day dedicated to being kind. So why is helping others such an important thing to do? Here’s some interesting facts that you may not have thought of:
- There’s science in kindness! Yes, it’s all very chemical! The feel god hormones; endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine are all produced in the brain when we receive or give kindness! A win-win for the giver and receiver!
- Destress! These happy hormones help us to destress and get rid of negative emotions such as anger, aggression and hostility which can have an adverse effect on our mind and body!
- Lifespan! Did you know that people who volunteer to help others generally have less aches and pains? Being kind is twice as effective at protecting our health as taking aspirin! Helping others has been proven to lower the chances of an early death by as much as 44%, that’s a stronger effective than excercing 4 times per week!
- Helpers High! Research has shown that when you are kind you are rewarded with a ‘chemical high’ as the brain releases its happy hormones. You can feel more like the one that’s been helped rather than the other way around!
- Happy Hormones! Kind acts result in the anti-depressant hormone serotonin being produced which calms you down, keeps you happy and can actually have a healing effect on the body.
- Energy Boost! Happy hormones created by acts of kindness can also help you feel more energised, positive, confident and self –assured!
- Gimme more lovin! Giving, receiving or even just witnessing acts of kindness produces the love hormone oxytocin. An amazing natural chemical which reduces blood pressure, improves heart health and even helps you become more optimistic and not as anxious or shy!
- Pressures off! It’s that oxytocin again! Once produced, oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels so reducing blood pressure and protecting your heart.
- It’s in the bank! Evidence shows that the benefits of being kind can last long after the act itself by creating a ‘kindness bank’ that can be drawn upon in the future.
- Back to school! Kindness is teachable! We are genetically pre-wired to be kind – it’s our natural state! The more we practice kindness the more skilled we become. Many schools are now formally teaching kindness!
“It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others with care and a desire to help.” Dr Richie Davidson, University of Wisconsin.
- Kindness is Contagious! Research has shown that kindness affects our friends’ friends, and our friends’ friends’ friends! Like a pebble plopped in a pond, the ripples move outwards to the very edges of the shore!
- Is kindness like chocolate? Doing nice things for people releases the same happy hormones; endorphin and oxytocin, as when we eat chocolate! So be kind, send a unique message and A lovely chocolate gift to someone you care about!