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budhist child releasing a doveKindness and gratitude are two behaviours that feed the human heart like nothing else can. Did you know there is a great deal of scientific exploration on the health benefits of being kind? My last blog shared the wonderful benefits of Gratitude. You can check it out here 

Let’s dive into what has been discovered about kindness.

1. Heart health

Participating in or even witnessing an act of kindness stimulates the release of Oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Oxytocin supports heart health by lowering blood pressure. Promoting a more optimistic outlook, this hormone is also involved in increased self-esteem and confidence.

2. More energy

One study from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley reported participants had more energy, more optimistic and calmer.

3. Happy hormone

Studies have reported people feeling happier when being kind. Being kind stimulates the release of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone. This hormone stimulates the natural healing ability of your body, calms you and promotes happiness.

4. Live longer

Those who volunteer regularly are found to have fewer aches and pains. One study reported at 44% lower likelihood of dying early. That’s actually a bigger benefit than exercising four times a week.

5. Reduced stress

Regular acts of kindness have been shown to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone. Decreased stress levels contribute to less pain, lower anxiety, lower blood pressure and reduced depression.

6. You count

Serving other people is the hallmark for finding purpose and meaning in our lives. Research has also found that being kind to yourself has the same benefits listed above. For so many of us, our inner chatter can be extremely unkind when focused on ourselves. Find one way every day for seven days to treat yourself with kindness and notice what changes in your life.

7. Make it last

Repeating acts of kindness on a regularly continues the physical, emotional and mental benefits on a long-term basis. Find a way to incorporate at least one act of kindness in every day.

blood donationHere are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Give Blood
  • Do chores for someone
  • Donate clothes you no longer wear
  • Give your expertise
  • Share your garden produce
  • Offer computer help
  • Join a Prayer circle
  • Pay for coffee for a person in line behind you at a coffee shop
  • Put $5 inside a library book for the next person who borrows that book
  • Organize a food drive
  • Reconnect with a friend
  • Donate blankets, old towels or homemade dog treats to an animal shelter
  • Help in a community garden
  • Volunteer at a nursing home
  • Donate your old bookssmiles
  • Give a compliment
  • Share a smile
  • Cook someone a meal

This list is just to get you started with a few suggestions. I’m sure you can add more ideas to this list.

Remember that one small act of kindness can change a person’s life! It may be a small act to you but mean everything to another person having a challenging time.

In Health and Harmony,