How Random Acts of Kindness Can Boost Your Wellbeing – Feel Good Feb
Feel Good Feb is an initiative dedicated to lifting the positive vibe of our world by promoting good deeds and random acts of kindness – especially during the month of February.
Now that we’re well into the year and the festivities of Christmas and New Year are over, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of back to school and work – let’s inject some fun into Feb!
Kindness is contagious
Research shows that not only do acts of kindness spread a cascading effect throughout social networks, but also that generosity and acts of altruism are great for your own mental health as well as others (Random Acts of Kindness Foundation).
“About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” Christine Carter, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center
“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, Author, “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”
Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller! Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily
Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population! Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 1998
Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.
What can you do?
We’re always doing kind and thoughtful things for our family and friends without even thinking, so why not for strangers? Feel Good Feb doesn’t require you to spend any money – you may have a skill or passion for something that you can share with a stranger. Whether it’s a Random Act of Kindness or Paying it Forward, simply put, it’s having the intention and taking the time to make others feel good.
Here’s a list of random acts of kindness to inspire you.
- Smile at someone you don’t know at work/school/out in the community
- Leave a note for your postal worker to thank them for doing a great job
- Pay for the coffee or tea of someone behind you in line
- Write positive saying on Post It notes and leave them on the mirrors of restrooms
- Or you may think of other deeds, your imagination is limitless!