The Science of Kindness- Unwrapped!

World Kindness Day is this Saturday, November 13th. This day reminds us of the importance of always being kind- to ourselves and to others. It may only occur once a year, but acts of kindness (big or small) should extend to every day of the year. At afloat, we love to celebrate the importance of kindness every day!

“When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.” -Harold Kushner

Did you know– there are proven benefits of being kind? Being kind can make you a happier, and even healthier person! Let’s unwrap the science behind kindness.

Kindness increases…

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The Love Hormone

Witnessing acts of kindness produces Oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone.” Oxytocin increases self-esteem and optimism, while also lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. (Natalie Angier, The New York Times)

Energy

In a study conducted at UC Berkeley, about half of the participants reported feeling stronger and more energetic after helping others. Many of the participants also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth.

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Happiness

A 2010 Harvard Business School Survey of Happiness that included 136 countries, found that people who were altruistic and generous financially, such as with charitable donations, were happiest overall.

Lifespan

“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church,” (Christine Carter).

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Pleasure

As found in research from Emory University, you get “helpers high” when you are kind to another person. This is because your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up as if you were the recipient of the good deed instead of the giver.

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Serotonin

Kindness supports immunity and feelings of peace and happiness! Being kind stimulates the production of serotonin, which is a chemical that calms you, heals your wounds, and makes you feel happy, (Talya Steinberg, Psy.D for Psychology Today).

Celebrate your crew with random acts of kindness through gifting! Sign up for afloat’s waitlist here.

*All statistics and facts taken from The Random Act of Kindness Foundation

For more information, visit randomactsofkindness.org