Health benefits of being kind
December 03, 2018
The holiday season often times bring out the best in us. It is the season of giving, after all. Part of this is being kind to others, which turns out to actually be beneficial for the “giver”, too.
Kindness is good for your heart. Doing good to and for others can warm your heart. It can also affect the chemical balance of your heart: kindness causes the hormone oxytocin to release which expands your blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
It can reduce stress. Assisting others can help you to take a break from the stressors in your own life. This behavior can also make you better equipped to handle stressful situations.
Kindness can slow aging. Research also shows that oxytocin, can help slow aging. It also increases the activity of the vagus nerve, which can help control inflammation. Inflammation is associated with health problems such as diabetes, cancer and chronic pain. Studies have shown those who volunteer have lower levels of inflammation.
You’ll feel happier. It’s believed that the good feeling we get when we are kind is due to elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, giving us a natural high. This can be referred to as the “helper’s high.” Kindness can also relieve depression through boosting the production of serotonin, which lifts your mood.
Be kind year-round, not just during the holiday season, and you’ll see health benefits and reduced stressed all year long.