Margaret Minnicks is an online writer who writes about the royal family.
Have you ever wondered if you have problems in your life because you do not live by the Golden Rule? Is there a relationship between your sickness and your lack of kindness toward others? Those are things to think about because people can actually live happier, healthier, and enjoy successful lives when they are kind. There are scientific reasons kindness has many benefits.
Scientific studies have shown the health benefits of showing kindness, receiving kindness, and even witnessing acts of kindness will result in positive health benefits and in longevity.
Here are at least 7 ways kindness can help you live a happier, healthier, and longer life.
1. Kindness Is Good for Overall Health
Scientific evidence demonstrates being kind is good for the body and mind. Jeremy Nielsen, RN, BSN, inpatient behavioral health manager at Dixie Regional Medical Center, says kindness has positive, healthy side effects and is good for overall health.
While it doesn't cost much to be kind, the benefits are priceless.
2. Kindness Boosts the Immune System
Even a little kindness is good for the body. It boosts the body’s immune system by providing natural oxytocin.
Oxytocin is the brain’s feel-good hormone. It also reduces inflammation in the body that is linked to diseases, including cancer, diabetes, migraines, and even obesity.
The good thing about oxytocin in your body is that you don't have to wait for others to be kind to you. Instead, you can boost your own oxytocin by being kind to others.
3. Kindness Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Oxytocin caused by kindness expands blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure and contributes to overall heart health. It is sometimes referred to as the cardioprotective hormone.
Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone. Just seeing an act of kindness on television can produce enough oxytocin in the body that’s been proven to decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of other illnesses.
Millions of people suffer from high blood pressure. Could it be that they are not as kind as they should be? If you suffer from high blood pressure, trade your blood pressure medicine for simple acts of kindness.
An experiment was conducted where two groups of people with a history of having high blood pressure were given $50. One group was told to spend the entire amount on themselves while the second group was told to either give the money away or spend it on others.
Which group do you think had lower blood pressure at the end of the experiment? The group who spent the money on themselves had the same or a higher blood pressure reading. However, groups who either gave the money away or spent it on others had a significantly lower blood pressure reading at the end of the experiment.
4. Kindness Reduces Stress
Instead of focusing on and worrying about what is going on in your own life, be kind to others. You will brighten your own day when you brighten someone else's day. Get in the habit of treating others the way you want to be treated.
While you are thinking about how to be kind to someone else, you will not be stressed out about what is going wrong in your own life.
Kind people have decreased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Therefore, there is a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress.
Being kind stimulates the body to also produce serotonin that promotes calmness and a peaceful feeling. It also aids helps in healing physical wounds. It decreases pain and increases endorphins.
5. Kindness Helps People Live Longer
This one is hard to believe, but kindness can actually help people live longer. Have you heard in the news or read in the newspaper how older people are still volunteering?
Volunteering is helping others, but it is also helping the one who volunteers. Therefore, showing kindness by volunteering is not just good for a person's health, but it is also for the person's longevity.
6. Kindness is Good for the Brain
An amazing benefit of kindness is that it helps the brain. You might be wondering how that can be. Well, the answer is simple. When people focus on the joy they bring to others, they are giving their brains a break from focusing on themselves. Instead of trying to figure out solutions to our own problems, we focus on the joy we give to someone else. We give our brains a much-needed break from dealing with our own problems.
The brain break of being kind is the same type of brain break that we get when we meditate, take a nap, or do something relaxing.
When we focus on someone else’s happiness, we tend to forget about ourselves even if it is only for a short period of time. In this case, every little bit does help.
7. Kindness is Reciprocal
It doesn't happen all the time, but most of the time when you are kind to others, they will be kind to you. Ideally, when you show kindness to someone, that person will or should kindness toward you.
Also, when you are kind, you boost your body’s levels of serotonin production and lower inflammation.
There are many ways to be kind. Showing kindness can be something as simple as giving a compliment or opening a door for someone.
Here are a few simple and easy ways to get you started.
- Make room for cars on the freeway when drivers want to pass you.
- Compliment a friend, family member, or co-worker.
- Forgive everyone.
- Lend a listening ear to someone who needs to talk.
- Thank those who deliver your mail, your packages, and your groceries.
- Give generous trips to service people who help you.
- Volunteer to babysit to give a new mom a break.
Look for opportunities to show kindness. Then make it a lifelong habit of being kind to others.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.