Scientific research has proven that the act of giving is a greater enhancer of mental wellbeing than any drug we’ve ever produced.
WHY IT MATTERS
A simple act of kindness completed regularly has been scientifically proven to produce more serotonin and dopamine throughout our bodies. Both of these are neurotransmitters – chemicals released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. And not only do they make us feel good, but they also enhance our ability to learn and absorb information. And it’s not just these two chemicals that kindness increases.
Science shows that simple acts of kindness:
• Increase oxytocin and induce a feeling of kindness
• Reduce cortisol and adrenal stress
• Eliminate signs of depression and anxiety
• Decrease pain through the release of endorphins
• Lower blood pressure
• Improve social relationships
• Reduce stress (which, by the way, also slows down our aging process)
Not only have acts of kindness been shown to improve heart health…
People who volunteer regularly – an excellent manifestation of kindness – had a “44% lower likelihood of dying early. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week!” (Carter, 2011)
PERFORM A SIMPLE ACT OF KINDNESS FOR ONE PERSON PER DAY!
A “simple act of kindness” is a simple, free, or inexpensive act that you do to spread a little kindness or brighten someone’s day. It can be a colleague, friend, family member, or stranger – the point is, it’s a selfless act.
Here are some of our favorites: when parking your car, leave a note on the car next to you saying that they did an amazing job at parking. Compliment the first two people you interact with today, or send a teacher a note saying how thankful you are for them. Post a positive review, smile genuinely at 5 strangers throughout your day, or pay for the next person in line. Donate old items or volunteer. It doesn’t have to take lots of time and money, the point is seeking out an opportunity to intentionally be kind…then doing it!
NOW DO THE SAME FOR YOURSELF!
Did you know that people are better at filling and properly administering prescription medication for their pets than themselves? In other words, we’re great at taking care of others, but often at the price of neglecting ourselves. Not even your pet thinks this is a good idea. So, extend the “simple act of kindness” to YOU by choosing to intentionally do something kind for yourself every day for the next 30 days.
This can be as simple as buying yourself that coffee you want…just because. It can also be high fiving yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning, sending yourself the same supportive message you’d send to a friend, or opening up time every day for yourself in the same way that you would for a friend who needed you. It also means finding ways to give yourself grace and a smile as you go throughout your daily life.