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What being kind can do for your health

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on February 16, 2022

We all know that doing good feels good.

Some call it karma.

But beyond giving us the warm fuzzies, kindness also releases positive chemicals in our brains and bodies.

These are also known as “happy hormones” like serotonin and oxytocin, aka the “love hormone” causing what is known as the “helper’s high.”

Did you know?

A study found that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers.

Here’s what we get when we give:

Physical Health Benefits

  • Lowers our blood pressure and stress levels
  • Improves our overall heart health
  • Fuels our energy
  • Decreases harmful chemicals in our bodies

Constantly kind people have 23% less stress hormone and age slower than the average population.

Mental Health Benefits

  • Gives us greater happiness and satisfaction
  • Increases our self-esteem and optimism
  • Lowers our risk for depression

Medical evidence tells us that kindness is teachable because our brains are wired to help others in need.

It’s also contagious. Because kindness improves our mood, we’re more likely to pay it forward. In other words, kindness catches on with a ripple effect that can be felt far beyond what you could imagine.

All small acts of kindness, be it a smile or a compliment, can make a big difference and when multiplied by others it can transform communities, countries.

Our Top 10 List

Acts of kindness can be done in person or online, right from our mobile devices. Here are our favourite ideas:

1. Call, text or write a friend to let them know how they brighten your life

2. Reach out to isolated friends or family members to simply say you’re thinking of them

3. Buy a coffee for the person ahead or behind you in line

4. Give a gift card and show some love to a locally owned business

5. Share a funny meme or motivational message on your own social page

6. Dining out? Leave double the normal tip

7. Donate blood, give to your local animal shelter, volunteer at a food bank

8. Give up your seat on public transport or if driving, allow someone into your lane

9. Shovel your neighbor’s walkway or bake extra cookies and deliver to their door

10. Be kind to yourself with a bubble bath or 15 minutes of meditation

Make Kindness the Norm

We could all use a little kindness these days. Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 13-19, gives us seven heart-warming days to get started.

Learn how you can warm hearts during the week, and throughout the year below.

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