Did you know that kindness can be good for you?
We know that being kind is good for those we serve, but did you know it’s actually healthy to be kind? According to Dr. David Hamilton, there are definite benefits to being kind.
1. Kindness makes us happier. If you’ve ever helped someone (and I know you all have), you’ll remember that “helper’s high” that comes after your service is done. That’s partly because kindness and compassion create elevated levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the “feel good” endorphin.
2. Kindness gives us healthier hearts. This isn’t just figurative, either! Acts of kindness create emotional warmth which leads to elevated levels of oxytocin. This chemical helps in dilating our blood vessels which decreases blood pressure, thus protecting our hearts.
3. Kindness slows aging. Two culprits of aging are free radicals and inflammation. As we participate in acts of kindness, we stimulate the vegas nerve, which controls heart rate and inflammation. The more kind we are, the more the vegas nerve sends anti-inflammatory signals throughout our bodies, making us feel better and increasing our chances of living longer!
4. Kindness makes for better relationships. This one’s pretty obvious. When someone is kind to us, we feel closer to them. So the kinder we are, the closer we are to those we serve. This creates a tight-knit community and more opportunities to be kind. It’s a delightful circle!
5. Kindness is contagious. We’ve talked before about the ripple effect of kindness. Dr. Hamilton cites a story about someone who walked into a clinic and donated a kidney anonymously. That set off a “pay it forward” type ripple that allowed 10 people to receive kidneys, all from one anonymous donor.
You can read more in Dr. Hamilton’s article.
If the link doesn’t work, go to: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kindness-benefits_n_869537.