The Science of Kindness
This Sunday is Random Acts of Kindness Day. So, we’re interrupting our usual posting schedule to share something a little bit different, to encourage everyone to spread some kindness this weekend! As well as benefiting those on the receiving end, it’ll also boost your own health – even science says so…
When it comes to the science around kindness, we only want to hear from the best - so Oxford University it is! They reviewed the scientific literature that has already been created on kindness and found that it does have an effect on overall happiness. The notion of giving - in any sense of the word - can improve everything from life satisfaction to self-realisation and physical health!
We often talk about reducing stress with ways to be kind to yourself. But those who are generally “kind” people, are actually estimated to have 23% less cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). It can also help to decrease anxiety and depression too.
This one might sound like a stretch, but there is method in our madness (although we wouldn’t recommend throwing out your meds just yet)! Engaging in acts of kindness will produce endorphins, the hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system, which are known as the body’s natural painkiller!
According to several studies, people who volunteer experience fewer aches and pains and have a lower likelihood of dying early – we’d say that’s a pretty good reason to volunteer up some of your free time! This has been shown to have an even stronger effect than exercising four times a week or more. Want to go one step further? Join Good Gym and do both at the same time…
The best bit about the benefits of kindness? It’s not just yourself that can gain from your efforts! When someone witnesses an act of kindness, it’ll also improve their mood and make them more likely to do something similar themselves. That's the kind of domino effect we need in the world!
Not sure where to start? Kindness is like a muscle that needs constant work. Click here for a few ideas to get you started.