Editor’s note: Sign up for CNN’s Stress But Less newsletter. Our six-part mindfulness guide will inform and inspire you to reduce stress while learning how to harness it.
According to research, spreading kindness not only makes others feel better about themselves, but it can also increase the health and happiness of the giver. It’s a win for everyone.
Putting the well-being of others before one’s own without expecting anything in return—or being altruistic—stimulates the brain’s reward centers, studies have shown. These feel-good chemicals flood our system, creating a sort of “helper’s high.” For example, volunteering minimizes stress and improves depression.
That’s not all: The same activity can also reduce risk cognitive impairment and even helps us live longer. One reason, experts say, is that kindness contributes to community and a sense of belonging. And this is studying is a key contributor to a healthy, long life.
Giving to others, or “prosocial spending,” lowers blood pressure and improves heart health. one to learn asked one group of hypertensive people to spend $40 on themselves, while another group of hypertensive people were told to spend the money on others.
They found that at the end of a 6-week study, those who spent money on others had lower blood pressure. In fact, the benefits were as great as those from a healthy diet and exercise.
Giving seems to ease our pain. Recently to learn found that people who said they would donate money to help orphans were less susceptible to electrocution than those who refused to give. Furthermore, the more useful people thought their donation would be, the less pain they felt.
How could this happen? Research has shown that regions of the brain that respond to painful stimulation are immediately deactivated with experience.
Researchers in England found that being kind can increase happiness for three days. The to learn He divided people into three groups: the first group had to do charity every day; the second group attempted a new activity; and the third group did nothing. The groups that did good deeds and did new things saw a significant increase in happiness.
You will experience greater joy if you are creative with your acts of kindness. Happiness researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kennon Sheldon found shows that people who do a variety of acts of kindness throughout the week are happier than those who do the same thing over and over again.
Here’s the good news: Apparently, acts of kindness can be anonymous or visible, spontaneous or planned, and can be as simple as paying a compliment or opening a door for someone.
OK, you’re sure and want to be a kinder and more helpful person right away. There are literally hundreds of ideas online, but here are a few to get you started:
- When driving, give way to a car that wants to enter your lane.
- Give a sincere compliment to a family member, friend or colleague.
- Do the same for your boss – they probably never get compliments!
- Let go of the grudge and tell the person you forgive them (as long as you don’t make it worse for them).
- Be there for a friend who is having a hard time. Don’t try to fix it; just listen
- Leave a thank you note to your mail carrier.
- Override your delivery person.
This is fairer. Many people struggle economically and often struggle to balance the needs of family, work, and community. Consider being kind to yourself (whatever that means to you) and to others. We all need a break.
Want more ideas? There is a Random Acts of Goodness Foundation that promotes kindness every year list of kindness ideas, work, community, environment, animals, strangers, children, elderly, etc.
“You are making the world a better place,” says the foundation. But remember – any kindness you do for others is also a gift to yourself.
Leave a Comment