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Acts of Kindness & Your Wellbeing

Published 2:21 pm UTC April 30, 2020


Kindness is defined by compassion and selflessness; it is something that is too often disregarded and undervalued. However, acts of kindness can be great contributors to our mental wellbeing and promote the wellbeing of others. Empathy is one of the great benefits of kindness, with empathy we experience the feelings of compassion and gratitude. These positive feelings that stem from kindness lift our mood by having a chemical reaction in our brain. Hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin stimulate our brain bringing on that ‘feel good’ feeling. This reaction also occurs for the one receiving kindness, bringing on feelings of love and appreciation.

Now more than ever, we may feel isolated and disconnected with others. By performing acts of kindness, individuals feeling alone will begin to feel a connectedness with others and less alienated, or a sense that we are more similar to one another than dissimilar. It also brings a sense of community and belonging, contributing to the alleviation of sadness, stress, anger and even depression. Additionally, our immune systems can benefit from this reduction in stress and negative emotions. Both the physical and mental advantages of kindness and acts of compassion can greatly benefit our world right now without us having to go out into it.

Here are a few ways to promote kindness during social distancing:

  • Donate takeaway meals to loved ones or healthcare workers
  • Start a piggy bank for a cause you value
  • Bake for elderly neighbours and leave by the door
  • Call someone and read to them
  • Send a thank you note to someone you appreciate
  • Donate puzzles or home goods to home care centres and staff
  • Leave a thank you letter for your postman

 

There are many creative ways to display small acts of kindness. Others will appreciate noticed efforts of kindness and these good deeds can catch on. Often when people experience or witness acts of kindness, it can motivate them to do the same. Kindness can also become habit forming, we enjoy the feeling that generosity provides and therefore want to experience that feeling more often.

Lately we may have become more vulnerable to low moods and negative thoughts. However, with acts of kindness, charity, and generosity we can lift burdens from others and be rewarded with positive feelings and a sense of community and compassion. Kindness humanises us, lifts us, and keeps us going.