Did you know that the feeling that washes over you when you are kind to others is the chemicals in your brain reacting? Kindness releases the hormone oxytocin, which is also known as “the love hormone”, helping to lower blood pressure and boosting our general heart health.
Additionally, this hormone bolsters our connection to others, making it so we are relaxed and more trusting in social situations. With that, kindness is energizing, giving us a sense of calmness and self-worth because we are doing for others and giving ourselves a purpose.
This helps our brain create more serotonin, giving us those warm and fuzzy feelings. Those warm and fuzzy feelings caused by the acts of kindness also impact the way our brain reacts to stress and anxiety.
The University of Colombia did a study on how acts of kindness impact the brains of highly anxious people. They performed at least six acts of kindness a week. “After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.” Furthermore, studies have shown that those who are habitually kind have 23% less cortisol in their brains.
Helping to fight the hostility that is so prevalent in the world today starts with a small, random act of kindness. Kindness is contagious, and doing this will inspire others to act the same way because their brain will experience the same release of hormones just from watching another perform a kind act. They will be inspired to “pay it forward”, creating a wonderful chain of events.
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