Kindness Isn’t Just Nice. It’s Healthy!
It may surprise you that acts of kindness we extend—to another person, to animals, to a group or cause—offer benefits that go way beyond a momentary mood boost or a split-second smile. Each act of kindness can lead to real physical and emotional benefits. In other words, kindness is healthy. We spoke with Brooke Jones, an expert at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to find out more.
There are many studies that back up the health benefits of kindness. Brooke pointed out one published in the peer-reviewed journal of the British Medical Association which found that volunteerism (a kind act) ties to a 24% reduction in early death—comparable to eating four to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily! Find out more on the blog.
Make Your Heart Happy
Doctors have found that showing compassion or even witnessing it releases oxytocin, which is the hormone connected to love. Oxytocin helps us form social bonds, which helps us better trust people and even lowers blood pressure, which over time can lead to a healthier heart.
Making Kindness a Daily Practice
One way to make kindness a habit is to name activities you do every day, then assigning a kindness to each. For instance, “wake up” could be assigned a kindness like sending a thoughtful or funny text to a loved one before your feet hit the floor. Or “eat breakfast” becomes eating healthy food (being kind to yourself).
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.