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. 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!
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 as people stepped in to support family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and even complete strangers over the last couple of years.
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.
There are lots of scientifically proven ways helping others can help your wellbeing, here are our top 5:
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).
Paycare’s mission is to support the health and happiness of the UK through a range of Health Cash Plans designed to ease financial pressure and promote a proactive approach to wellbeing. Find out more about our Plans for individuals here, or our Plans for organisations here.
As a not-for-profit, we’ve been investing in our communities since 1874, so you can rest assured you’re not only supporting yourself and your family – you’re also positively impacting the health and happiness of others too. Find out more about our ethos and history here.