Kindness is Contagious
Published Tuesday, March 8, 2022
By Lily Colquhoun, Prevention and Screening Clinical Services
A kind word can go a long way. It’s something that we should always keep in mind. After all, giving kindness to those who need it most can benefit everyone.
Performing acts of kindness is a great way to show our appreciation for others. Additionally, studies have shown that engaging in acts of kindness to others can have direct impacts on our own health. It can increase health benefits while decreasing harmful characteristics. A simple act of kindness could possibly be the easiest way to boost your health.
Did you know that acts of kindness can release beneficial hormones into our bodies? In fact, oxytocin, the love hormone, and serotonin, a feel-good chemical can be increased. These hormones boost our self-esteem, optimism, calm us down and make us happy.
Engaging in acts of kindness can also have an impact on our overall happiness. When we are kind to other people, our brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up as if we were the recipient of the act of kindness. This phenomenon is commonly called a “helper’s high”.
Being kind to others can also impact physical health. When we engage in acts of kindness, we produce endorphins, the brain’s natural pain killer. Additionally, being kind can reduce blood pressure and stress hormones, as well as decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.
Last month at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Prevention and Screening Clinical Services took part in Random Act of Kindness Day by setting up a kindness booth for staff. At the booth, staff were able to access kindness resources, activities, and recipes and were encouraged to pay the kindness forward. Staff were able to take a completed affirmation heart or create a heart of their own with a customized kind message to gift to someone in need.
Kindness is contagious. The positive effects of kindness are experienced by everyone who witnesses them, which causes their mood to improve and makes them likely to pay it forward.
Here are some ways that you can show your appreciation for others
- Deliver a healthy meal
- Shovel a driveway
- Leave a thank you note
- Pay for the person behind you in line
For more ideas on how you can spread kindness, visit https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas