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Kindness boosts wellbeing.

By Jennifer Lumsden, October 7 2019

Have you ever bought a new pair of shoes, or a power tool or a doughnut to help you feel happy? Why not consider a random act of kindness – the benefits will go further!

In the busyness of life and 24/7 connectivity, it is easy to drop or minimise kindness out of our daily routine. Did you know that showing regular kindness has excellent benefits?

Kindness is the act of being helpful, generous and caring towards others and there is plenty of evidence that it is beneficial for our physical and mental health.

A Chinese proverb,
‘If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else’.

The benefits of kindness include increasing a sense of happiness or contentment. A study by the University of California required people to do five random acts of kindness per day for six weeks. At the end of the study, it found that the happiness levels of participants increased by 41.66%.

Some amazing benefits of kindness

• Natural painkiller – kindness releases endorphins in the brain.
• Self-Worth – kindness can make us not just feel good about ourselves but gives belief in ourselves, increasing our sense of self-worth.
• Stress – kind people have lower stress levels than the average person.
• Anxiety & Depression – kindness improves mood by increasing serotonin, which calms us.
• Blood Pressure – kindness helps release oxytocin, a ‘cardio-protective’ hormone that reduces blood pressure.
• Creates ‘Helpers High’ – kindness elevates dopamine in the brain causing pleasure/reward centres to light up.
• Relationships – kindness reduces the distance between individuals.

Let’s make kindness part of our day.

• Give someone a genuine compliment.
• Volunteer – even a one-off is good, giving a dose of ‘Helpers High’.
• Learn the name of someone you see every day and greet them by name.
• Random acts of kindness to strangers have even more significant benefits.
• Be kind to the person serving you – make eye contact and acknowledge them.
• Smile and chat with a stranger.
• Ask someone how they are and listen, not a one-word answer, think R you OK? everyday.
• Talk to a person who appears shy or is new.
• Give your time to help someone.
• Don’t gossip.
• Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

What acts of kindness can you add to the list? Try them and notice the difference you make to others and yourself.

More information

Carla shows kindness by explaining to Tim how to make a complaint.

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