Today, February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Random acts of kindness bring joy to the receiver, but they spread positive reactions to the giver, too! It is a day to celebrate the positive impact we can have on others through small or large acts of generosity and compassion. While acts of kindness obviously can benefit others, they also positively affect those being kind. Here are 7 ways kindness can improve everyone’s lives today.
1. Reduces Anxiety
When we are kind to others, our bodies release serotonin, the chemical associated with pleasure that helps us feel calm. Studies show that we do not have to perform monumental acts of kindness to reduce our anxiety. Smiling at someone, saying hello, or complimenting them goes a long way towards improving their days and our own.
2. Protects Hearts
Being kind to others also stimulates the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that promotes bonding. Oxytocin releases nitric oxide into the bloodstream which dilates the blood vessels and leads to lowered blood pressure. Checking in on a friend or buying someone a cup of coffee can brighten their days and improve their heart health.
3. Prevents Illness
Oxytocin also lowers inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to heart, lung, stomach, and joint problems, and it is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer and insomnia. By volunteering to help others, you can reduce the inflammation in your body that can lead to a variety of illnesses.
4. Decreases Stress
In addition to providing chemical and hormonal benefits to our bodies, performing acts of kindness can distract us from our busy schedules and take our minds off of our stressors. Being kind also helps us build relationships with other people which will provide support and comfort in difficult times.
5. Increases Longevity
Humans derive so many positive physical effects from being kind to others that those acts of kindness naturally lead to healthier, happier, more involved lives. By being engaged in their families and communities, people find a sense of purpose and motivation that naturally translates into longer life expectancy.
6. Builds Closer Relationships
When people see us for the kind people we are, they will want to cultivate relationships with us. Having supportive friends ultimately benefits everyone by increasing people’s optimism and feelings of belonging. Being seen as kind people can help improve our self-concepts and encourage us to act kindly more often.
7. Elevates Moods
Being kind to others activates a portion of the brain called the ventral striatum, a section that responds to pleasurable experiences. By being kind to others, we make ourselves happy, which can lead us to being kind to others more often. Sending a thoughtful card or doing a chore for a neighbor can brighten everyone’s day.
There are so many ways to express compassion for your friends, family, and the world. If you enjoy baking, consider making a scrumptious and healthy dessert such as muffins or bread. Superberries Frozen Aronia berries are a delicious, nutritious, and eye-catching addition to your recipes. Sharing with the people around you will make them all the sweeter.