Kindness is not only good for those around you but it has positive health benefits on those gifting it too.
What are some facts about Kindness?
KINDNESS IS TEACHABLE “It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.” Dr. Ritchie Davidson , University of Wisconsin
KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!
ENERGY “About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” Christine Carter, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center
ANXIETY 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
PLEASURE 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.”
STRESS Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population!
BLOOD PRESSURE 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
Train Your Brain
If we make ourselves accountable and plan out our kindness acts in advance, we are more likely to act on them.
Why not use our Kindness Checklist to decide and log what kindness acts you will be doing?