Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb 15-21

February 14, 2010

Health Benefits of Kindness from The Random Acts of Kindness Website

Numerous scientific studies show that acts of kindness result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental. Here are some key points:

Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders serious and minor, psychological and physical.

A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins.

This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being.
Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc.

A drop in stress may, for some people, decrease the constriction within the lungs that leads to asthma attacks.

Helping can enhance our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation.

A decrease in both the intensity and the awareness of physical pain can occur. The incidence of attitudes, such as chronic hostility, that negatively arouse and damage the body is reduced.

The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.

An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism, as well as a decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression, is achieved.

Once we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone – a relationship of friendship, love, or some sort of positive bonding – we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.

Adopting an altruistic lifestyle is a critical component of mental health.

The practice of caring for strangers translates to immense immune and healing benefits.

Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree or more than doubling your income.

Source: Luks, Allan. The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others. New York: iUniverse.com, 2001. Our thanks to the Niagara Wellness Council, Niagara Fall, NY, for compiling this list from Luks’ book. The Niagara Wellness Council may be reached by email at niagwellness@opticlick.com.

Mr. Positive!
David Boufford
Professional Encourager™
more info – http://www.actsofkindness.org http://www.MrPositiveBlog.com –


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