Most likely, if you’re reading this article, you are fairly kind. But if we’re also honest, we can all take the time to be a bit more kind to our fellow man. While kindness itself is compelling, there are three basic mental health benefits to those who practice random acts of kindness.
1. Stress will affect you less.
A study from the Clinical Psychological Science Journal showed that when participants were extra stressed on a given day, they had more negative feelings. But if they chose to help others on a similarly stressful day, they didn’t report those negative feelings to the researcher. Being kinder dampens the effects of stress in your life!
2. Your heart will be healthier.
Studies have found that there is a correlation between acts of kindness and attributes of a healthy heart. What more reason do you need to start adding random acts of kindness to your everyday routine! And in case you missed it, last week was Random Acts Of Kindness week! Make sure to check out our article from last week and follow us on Facebook for some great ideas to get you started.
3. Giving to others makes you feel better.
In research from Harvard Business School, participants were randomly assigned to do one of three things with $5 or $20 of their own money – spend the money on themselves, someone else, or a charity. The research found that those participants who spent their money on someone other than themselves rated their levels of happiness higher than those who bought something for themselves. This was result was seen regardless of the amount they spent. Take a cue from this research and put your money to good use!
Getting involved can look like many things. We’d like to suggest that one of the best options is volunteering. Getting involved with a local non-profit, at your kid’s school or at church are all great ways to volunteer. According to Harvard Medical School, “studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression.” Volunteering connects you with people and your community and is sure to help you as you grieve. In addition, the article states, “a growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.” Not only is your mind benefited by getting involved, your body is too! We all know that when your body and mind are both feeling good, it goes a long way.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? We’d love to hear from you! Make sure to check out part one of our series and stay tuned for part three! We’ll be sharing the last two New Year’s Resolutions to add to your list for 2017.