Feel good: kindness really can heal 5



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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.

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?



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. A stranger coming up to me in a busy shopping centre and telling me how well I was doing and other lovely compliments. I noticed a small cross on her collar, she was a nun! Later I remembered seeing her when I had been in hospital a few years earlier. That encounter lifted me out of my ” head-down day”.

  2. The young lass in Sanity had a pleasant chat with me. Often an oldie on a walking stick is ignored in those places.

  3. Not sure why we needed science to tell us that.The volunteer work I do,puts a spring in my step each day,putting something back into our community is heart feel.

  4. The other day I didn’t have a two dollar coin for a shopping trolley, I only had a dollar coin. The young lady behind me just opened up her purse and handed me a two dollar coin. I told her not to worry, but she insisted I take it. I thought it was very kind of her, even though it was only two dollars. As some people might say, “It’s not the money that counts, it’s the thought behind it”.

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