HOW BEING KIND IMPACTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day

FEBRUARY 17, 2019

Kindness is one of my core values. Without kindness, I have no purpose. My goals and aspirations thrive on being kind. I grew up Catholic and basically, the only thing that connected with me from the church was being good to others. I have spent my life volunteering, smiling at strangers and writing hand-made cards to my loved ones. I couldn’t possibly imagine living my life selfishly and without being as thoughtful as I am.

It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized I was doing myself some good being kind. There are many scientific facts on how being kind can help one’s health. I am only going to focus on the mental health impact of kindness but just know kindness truly can do wonders.

  • Do you ever wonder why, when you volunteer or do something kind for someone, you feel like you just finished a run on the treadmill? Well, that’s because doing nice things for other people promotes feelings of connectedness and accomplishment, hence releasing serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter.
  • Kind people have 23% less of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • A University of British Columbia held a study where a group of people with anxiety were instructed to carry out at least six acts of kindness a week. After a month, there was a notable increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
  • Observing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, which increases one’s self-esteem and optimism.
  • In 2010 Harvard Business School performed a survey in 136 different countries that measured happiness. People who were altruistic financially proved to be the happiest.

Now you’re probably wondering, how can I participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day to improve my mental health? Well, below I have a unique list of ideas for you that don’t cost any money!

  • My favorite, of course, is making and writing a hand-made card to those you appreciate.
  • Sign up to do a 5k for your favorite charitable cause.
  • Sign up to write letters to those struggling with mental illness here @ http://www.moreloveletters.com/
  • Call an elderly loved one and chat with them.
  • Declutter your house and ask local shelters what they are accepting donations of.
  • Comment on your favorite social media follower’s post(s) and tell them what you appreciate about them.
  • And most importantly, be kind to yourself by doing something special for yourself!

As always, you can check out the card featured in this post, and many more, right on my Etsy site here: http://etsy.com/shop/refinedresilience

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