Call us biassed, but we think kindness is pretty f*cking cool.
Not only does kindness power incredible organisations like charities and social enterprises, it’s also the thing that motivates all the kind sh*t that happens every day from businesses in our Kind Business Club.
You might already know about all the awesome things that kindness can do to the world, but did you know it can do some pretty cool stuff to your brain and body too?
Take a look at 5 proven health benefits that doing an act of kindness can have on you and your wellbeing.
5 Health Benefits of Being Kind
1. Increased self esteem
This might not sound like rocket science, but it turns out that when you do good for others, it makes you feel pretty good too, and has a huge impact on your self esteem. Recent research has shown that carrying out acts of kindness for others can trigger a boost to our self esteem. This particular study was carried out on teenagers. We reckon, if acts of kindness works on teenagers going through emotional, hormone filled roller coasters on a daily basis, we’re damn sure it will work on the rest of us ‘adults’ too.
2. Boosted mood
As well as adding a healthy dose of self esteem, it turns out kindness does marvellous things for your mood overall. Apparently, being kind triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which gives you feelings of satisfaction and lights up the pleasure and reward centres in your brain. In some cases, endorphins, the body’s pain killer chemical, has also been released after doing a kind act.
3. Connect with others and say ‘see ya later’ to loneliness
Feelings of loneliness and isolation can have extremely negative consequences on your health. There are some claims that suggest that isolation can cause as much harm for your body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and that loneliness increases your risk of death by a whopping 26%!
You might be asking:
“How can kindness fight all that?!”
When we do a kind act towards someone it creates that all important sense of connection that us humans need to survive and thrive. So, by doing even the smallest of kind act, you could be preventing 15 cigarettes worth of damage to your body. How crazy is that?!
4. Reduce stress
Stress is quickly becoming one of the biggest strains on the modern human being, and can have drastic and long term effects on the health of our bodies. In the same way that it is physiologically impossible to be both stressed and feel grateful at the same time, it turns out that making the conscious effort to turn your stress into kindness can be just the trick to combating feelings of overwhelm. According to Professor James Doty, author of a recent study into this phenomenon and professor at Stanford University said:
“When someone acts with compassionate intention, it has a huge, huge positive effect on their physiology. It takes them out of the threat mode and puts them into the rest and digest mode.”
5. Improve heart health & lead to a longer life
Not only can being kind make life feel pretty good, it can also make your life last even longer. Nice, more time to do kind stuff with. As well as all those lovely brain chemicals that kindness triggers, kindness has also been proven to improve our cardiovascular health, as Columbia University Doctor, Kelli Harding discusses in her book The Rabbit Effect. She says that “[Kindness] helps the immune system, blood pressure, it helps people to live longer and better.”
Ready to do some good to the planet, society, AND your own health?
Then let’s start doing some kind sh*t.
Take a look at our Kind Business Directory if you don’t know where to start. These are the businesses that we’ve verified and vetted as being kind, sustainable and ethical. So, when you shop with them, not only will you get a product or service delivered by a real person, you’ll be spreading some kindness throughout the world too.
So, what are you waiting for?