Random Acts of Kindness Week (2/14-2/18): The Importance of Service
Your parents have drilled it into you. Your grandparents drilled it into them. And, if we are being honest, you will probably strive to drill it into your own children. What is this “it” I am talking about? “It” is kindness. Kindness is so much more than a simple act. It is a truly beautiful thing that can have a wonderful impact on both you and the person you are inflicting your kindness upon.
The Health Benefits of Volunteerism and Service
Yes, you read that right. Kindness doesn’t only benefit the person you are inflicting it upon. Research has suggested that it can also benefit the person providing the act of kindness. Performing acts of kindness have been shown to benefit a person’s mental and physical health by:
Studies have found that acts of kindness and showing compassion toward others can improve one’s self-esteem. When you find the ability to feel confident about yourself, happiness is not far behind. Self-esteem is crucial for self-love and kindness, increasing your confidence and helping you pursue the life you dream of.
Encouraging Heart Health
Those who witness acts of kindness have been found to produce oxytocin, which is known as a love hormone. This release of the “love hormone” can aid in lowering one’s blood pressure and improving the overall quality of cardiovascular health.
Boosting One’s Mood
Kindness boosts the serotonin and dopamine levels in a person’s brain. These two hormones are known as the happy hormones and can leave a person in a good mood as the hormones are at a high. These happy hormones can also leave you feeling calmer, decreasing feelings of stress or anxiety.
Kind people have often been found to have an estimated 23% less cortisol (otherwise known as the stress hormone) than the rest of the population.
Ways You Can Practice Kindness
If you wish to begin practicing kindness but have no idea where to begin, we are here to help. A few ways you can begin to practice kindness include:
Offer a Listening Ear
When you see someone who seems to just need someone to talk to, be there for them. Sometimes, all a person needs is to feel heard and validated. Offer than support.
You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, or whatever other volunteer opportunities speak to your heart. Knowing that you are spending your time helping those in need will feel great.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, you can always donate to causes that speak to you. You can send some money to a charity that you feel is doing some true good in the world or even donate some gently worn clothes to a women’s shelter. Donating is another great way to spread kindness to those in your community.
Give a Compliment
When you see someone doing good, let them know! As you watch their faces light up at your compliment, you can bask in that boost of happiness you feel from spreading kindness to the people around you.
Kindness has a ton of mental, emotional, and physical health benefits to offer you. However, if you are truly struggling with your mental health, we are here for you. Contact us today.
Keywords: mental health, service, volunteerism