Are you familiar with the term “Helper’s High”? This concept first emerged in the 80’s, after researchers recognized how acts of selfless service, such as volunteering, elicit positive feelings and reduce stress. As an added bonus, there are also studies that suggest those who volunteer regularly actually live longer than those who don’t! Simply witnessing someone do something nice can result in our bodies producing oxytocin – commonly known as the ‘love’ hormone – which can help decrease blood pressure.1 From holding the door for someone to offering assistance to someone in need, acts of kindness are a simple and easy way that we can do something good while uplifting our spirts and reducing our own stress. Things like getting out of bed in the mornings or eating breakfast can be difficult for someone dealing with a lot of stress or struggling with depression – we all fight different battles, so it is important to be patient and kind to those around you.
Remember that before we can be kind to others, we must first be kind to ourselves. Self-compassion can look different to each individual person. It may be shown in celebrating small personal wins, speaking positively about yourself, or allowing yourself to make and learn from mistakes (as opposed to punishing yourself).
For a wonderful little lighthearted video about the benefits of kindness, check out this YouTube video. Kindness is contagious – spread it!