Being a nice person positively influences the world around us – our family, friends, strangers, the environment, the list goes on. But did you know that having kindness in our DNA also impacts our wellbeing?! Of course, we don’t do kind acts for personal gain, but physical and physiological side effects are certainly bonuses when selflessly spreading goodness.
Here are some ways doing good does good for your health. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and so apparently does being kind!
- Being Kind Makes You Happy: Have you ever done a good deed and found yourself subconsciously smiling afterwords? It’s because doing good makes us feel good. When you demonstrate kindness the body releases endorphins that puts you in a positive emotional state, a phenomenon known as a “helper’s high.”
- Kindness Is a Pain Killer: Not only are endorphins associated with feelings of happiness, but they are also natural painkillers by interacting with opiate receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain.
- Being Kind Can Lower Anxiety and Depression: Similar to medical antidepressants, being kind to others boosts your serotonin levels, which is the messenger in your brain responsible for feelings of satisfaction, calmness and happiness. It’s a natural mood stabilizer that can help reduce anxiety and support better sleep and eating habits.
- Kindness Protects Our Hearts: Do you relate kind people to having big hearts? Well, there’s a reason for that. Performing acts of kindness releases oxytocin, the cardioprotective hormone in the body responsible for the release of nitric oxide into the blood vessels. This expands the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure, promoting a healthy heart for a kinder lifestyle.
- Kindness Helps with Stress: People who are generally kind to others have 23% less cortisol, the hormone in the body that causes stress. Lower levels of stress also slow aging. Double whammy!