Benefits of Random Acts of Kindness
BEING KIND IS GOOD FOR YOU!
Making others feel good can “warm” your heart and make you feel all fuzzy – but did you know that being kind can actually have a ripple effect on your whole life? In a recent study at a company in Spain, employees were asked to either perform acts of kindness for colleagues or to count the number of kind acts they were the recipient of. At the end of the study the workers who had received acts of kindness reported being happier. However, those that carried out acts of kindness were not only happier but also had an increased level of job satisfaction and life satisfaction. The givers benefitted more than the receivers did!
Incorporating more kindness into your daily life can benefit you in numerous ways:
Practising kindness can help ease anxiety
Experiencing anxiety is extremely common and can range from mild nervousness to severe panic. A study on happiness by the University Of British Columbia found that “social anxiety is associated with low positive affect (PA), a factor that can significantly affect psychological well-being and adaptive functioning.” Positive affect refers to an individual’s experience of positive moods such as joy, interest, and alertness. Practice a little kindness to yourself as well as others and ease your anxiety.
Smile – it’s contagious!
When we smile at someone, they tend to smile back at us and we end up mirroring each other’s smiles. Smiling not only makes us feel good but it is thought that smiling boosts the immune system because you are more relaxed. Comedian Spike Milligan wrote a poem “Smile” which contains the lines “Smiling is infectious, You catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today I started smiling too” So go on – smile at everyone today!
Strengthen your relationships
Carrying out an act of kindness, such as buying someone a coffee or doing something for them, strengthens bonds with friends and family. This is linked to improved mood and helps to alleviate loneliness. Being kind creates and strengthens connections with others by releasing oxytocin, the “feelgood” hormone. Being kind to your loved ones will benefit both of you.
Reduce your blood pressure
The “feelgood” hormone oxytocin, flows through our body and brain when we perform acts of kindness. Oxytocin helps to reduce blood pressure and can help prevent heart damage. So get out there and be kind to somebody!
As you can see, being kind is good for you and good for the recipient – a win win situation!!
Here are a few suggestions for you to try out:
- Put out a neighbour’s wheelie bins
- Make or buy someone a coffee
- Write something positive on a sticky note and pop it on a colleague’s desk
- Cook a meal for a loved one
- Tell someone why you are grateful to have them in your life
- Get involved in a community project
- Write a “gratitude list” to remind yourself of all the goods things in your life
Whatever you decide to do, remember that your little act of kindness can make a big difference to someone’s day!