“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” -Aesop
This February we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Month! Sure, many of us learn to be kind for kindness sake or because it’s the “right thing to do”. Did you know there are many health benefits of performing even the smallest acts of kindness?
Kindness makes us feel happier. Those warm, fuzzy feelings actually benefit our hearts, and slow down the aging process biochemically! Kindness produces a “Helper’s High” by elevating levels of dopamine in the brain, releases the heart-protective hormone Oxytocin, and calms the Vagus nerve.
Oxytocin helps expand our blood vessels by releasing nitric acid. The release of this acid decreases blood pressure, assists the Vagus nerve in regulating heart rate, and reduces levels of free radicals in the cardiovascular system. Free radicals are inflammation causing agents that “corrode” our bodies causing premature aging.
Kindness plays a big part in our evolutionary process as humans by allowing us to form bonds with each other and keeping those bonds strong to ensure our success as a species.**
Wow! Mean people not only suck, they are at risk for more health problems and less success in life. Let’s all be extra kind to them this February. Kindness is contagious!
Here are some great brain jogging ideas and stories to inspire us:
*“Why Kindness is Good For You.” By Dr. David Hamilton. Hay House Publishing. 15 Feb, 2010.
**“Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.” By James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107 No. 10, March 9, 2010.