Feel good: kindness really can heal

It’s easy to be kind but not everyone does it randomly every day. We can be kind people, sure, but sometimes we selfishly ask, what’s in it for us? Even if it’s just that feel good feeling, it’s human nature to want to feel wanted…and now science has proven that kindness really can truly make us happy, healthy, and want to give more.

A Harvard study found that giving someone money lifted the giver’s happiness more than if they were to spend it on themselves. Another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found the same result when people gave to charities. Our brain is activated in regions associated with pleasure and social connection, creating a that warm and fuzzy feeling that producers a euphoric feeling scientists call a “helper’s high”.

But what if you don’t have money to give to a person or charity? You can give yourself. Take the terrible school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 children died – Ashley Peter, a former student, organised the annual 26 Days of Kindness to remember a victim of the massacre each day. This healing process for the grieving promotes peace and means that Ashley feels good and helps other too in the process.

A John Hopkins University study gave even more of a reason to help your fellow neighbour: it could lower your blood pressure and boost your self confidence, as well as decrease depression and stress.

Isn’t it great that science backs up what we’ve always known? Helping one another makes you feel amazing straight away and could be the shining light in someone’s otherwise bleak day, week, month or year. You never known how important you are in this world until you reach out and do something truly selfless.

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So yes, being altruistic can actually benefit your health – so what better reason than to do something kind today?

Tell us today, what acts of giving kindness have benefited you? Have you had someone make your day with their kindness?