We’ve all experienced that little lift when you do something nice for someone – whether it’s giving a thoughtful gift, running an errand for them, or simply sharing a hug (in our bubbles). But did you know, that act of kindness is actually triggering the release of chemicals in our bodies? 🧠
In fact, as scientists conduct more research, they’re starting to understand just how powerful kindness can be – whether it’s helping lower your blood pressure, reducing stress or even helping you live longer (yes, really!).
At Paycare, we’re all about helping others, and supporting charities and organisations is at the heart of what we do – so we can definitely vouch for the benefits of giving! We’ve also seen so many heart-warming acts of kindness over the course of 2020 as people stepped in to support family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and even complete strangers throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
We’re so enthusiastic about the benefits of kindness, that it was the topic for one of our previous e-clinics led by Assistant Wellbeing Manager, Sally Bromley.
💬 Sally says:
“All of us know that acts of kindness feel great whether you’re the person on the receiving end, or the person undertaking the act. But not many realise the science behind it, and that kindness can release hormones within your body which are hugely beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
“It was fantastic to be able to share the science behind the topic with more than 50 attendees at our Kindness e-clinic, and we can’t wait to focus on other topics related to mental health in the following months.”
There are lots of scientifically proven ways helping others can help your wellbeing, so let’s recap the top five ways shared at the e-clinic:
1. Performing acts of kindness releases oxytocin which is the chemical related to forming bonds and trusting others. Oxytocin can help lower your stress levels by reducing your blood pressure and minimising cortisol (the stress hormone) and promotes positive social interactions too.
2. Kind acts also release dopamine, giving feelings of satisfaction and wellbeing. It’s associated with a phenomenon called ‘helper’s high’.
3. Endorphins which relieve stress and pain are also associated with being kind – the same chemical which is released when we exercise. Of course, kindness shouldn’t replace exercise but it’s great to give your body a boost by combining the two into your schedule.
4. Having the kind of strong bonds with others that come from being kind and compassionate has been shown in studies to reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease.
5. Stress-related health threats can be minimised by showing affiliative behaviours (positive social interactions which benefit everyone involved).
Each hour-long online session is focused on a different subject and is completely free to sign up to. For more information on our next free e-clinic, simply visit Paycare Wellbeing 😊
You can also find out more about our Mental Health First Aid Training by visiting https://www.paycare.org/wellbeing-services/mental-health-first-aid/.
We hope to see you at our next e-clinic, but in the meantime get thinking about ways you can be kind and boost your own wellbeing, as well helping others! 🙌🧡