Being kind is a scientifically proven way to improve your spirits – kindness is a natural antidepressant. So if you want to feel instantly better about yourself and change any negative feelings to positive ones, all you need to do is be kind to another human being. In a scientific study they found that when you do a kind act for someone it increases the level of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the happy chemical that makes us feel good about ourselves. Not only does it elevate the serotonin of the person performing the act of kindness, but it does it for the receiver as well. And even more amazing, the serotonin level increases in anyone who happens to witnesses acts of kindness as well. It may not be something you can wrap with pretty paper and a big red bow, but consider giving the Gift of Serotonin to yourself and to others….
You don’t have to take my word for it, I researched the topic and so I could share some true medical facts with you that came from seriously legit (as my teenage daughter says) research on the matter so you can know that it really is a medically proven statement. Let me share some of the research I found (sources: Psychology Today, Harvard University, medical study on the Mother Theresa Effect) :
The Benefits of Performing Acts of Kindness
Research has shown that those who routinely engage in acts of kindness:
· Experience alleviation of stress
· Experience alleviation of chronic pain
· Experience alleviation of insomnia
· Experience fewer aches and pains
· Have a lessened likelihood of experiencing diseases and disorders
· Overall health is protected twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease
· Have a significantly lower likelihood of dying of diseases
· Have markedly increased levels of Immunoglobulin A (antibody which boosts immunity)
· Have significant increase in Serotonin levels (chemical in brain that makes us feel good)
· Have decreased feelings of depression
· Have increased sense of happiness and optimism
· Have an increased sense of self worth
· Have enhanced feelings of joyfulness
· Have a boost in their sense of physical and emotional well being
And my personal favorite benefit:
- The effects of doing acts of kindness have a stronger effect than exercising four times a week!!!!
Can I tell you how happy this last one makes me, I mean really, unbelievably, happy! Because I can’t stand exercising! I know I am supposed to tell you that I love it and it’s great, but that would be a lie. I don’t love it. My gosh, I will drive ten minutes around a parking lot just to find a stall that is within ten feet of the front door, just to avoid walking! I don’t like to break a sweat. Not even a little one. And I know that not liking exercise makes me a terrible example, but no more! Now I can get my daily exercise by just being kind every day because according to the studies I read, kindness is the best exercise! Oh my goodness that makes me happy 🙂
This week do acts of kindness for everyone around you. It can be as small as smiling at your coworkers or smiling at a stranger, or writing a note to tell someone you love them or what you like about them, or giving a compliment to someone who deserves one, it can be any act of kindness. So based on the study if all of us perform acts of kindness for each other this week then all of our serotonin levels will rise, and if all of us are receiving kindness today then our serotonin levels will rise even more, and then if we all observe each other doing kind acts for others around us, our serotonin levels will go THROUGH THE ROOF! How cool will this be – we will have a KINDNESS HIGH! And it’s totally legal 🙂 This is awesome! So I will start us off – I LOVE YOU ALL! Now spread the kindness and get those serotonin levels rising baby!!!!