How Can Kindness Impact Your Health?
Have you recently seen a sign in a yard, business or school that said, “Be Kind”? Many of us have seen and heard this phrase become a part of our culture over the last few years but did you know acts of kindness can directly impact your physical and mental health?
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
— The 14th Dalai Lama
Good For The Mind
Kindness can positively change your brain for the better. Acts of kindness boost serotonin and dopamine giving us a feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing. It also increases the release of
endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer. Through acts of kindness we can also see increased self-esteem, empathy, compassion, and improved mood. An increased feeling of connectivity can lead to reduced loneliness and improved relationships.
Good For The Body
Practicing acts of kindness can decrease blood pressure and cortisol levels (a stress hormone that at increased levels can lead to many health risks). Those who practice acts of kindness can see an increase in life longevity, and improved over all health.
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
Taking Action In Your World?
How Can You Make a Change?
Start with simply asking yourself each morning, “How can I practice kindness
today?” You don’t have to make a big gesture to practice kindness. Consider smiling at others, using your manners, listening to others, or telling someone thank you for what they bring to your life.
Be Kind to Yourself
Kindness is not just about what we do for others, practicing kindness towards
ourselves is important for our health too. Keeping a gratitude journal, improving self talk, and asking for help are all ways you can practice kindness for yourself.
By practicing acts of kindness with others we strengthen our relationships with family and friends. By increasing that connectivity we build a community of support for both ourselves and others.
RESOURCES & TOOLS
Mayo Clinic Health System: The art of kindness