Kindness Improves Health


Kindness Improves Your Health

By: Dr. Pariksith Singh, MD, Mar 20, 2021

Have you ever pulled up to a drive-thru window to pay for your coffee only to find out that the person in front of you already paid for your order? Has a stranger held the door open for you when your hands were full? Didn't these experiences make you feel good?

Small random acts of kindness make lasting impressions on us and can also be beneficial to our health!

Ways to Practice Kindness

Whenever you share a random act of kindness with a friend, family member, or even a stranger, it has a contagious positive effect. Kindness is one of the best gifts you can give anyone, and it doesn't cost a penny. You don't need to spend a lot of money (or even any at all) to make someone feel special.

Here are a few ways you can offer random acts of kindness, and most of these are absolutely FREE!

  • Smile at a stranger.
  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Give a detailed compliment to a cashier or even someone walking by.
  • Donate clothing or necessary items to a local shelter.
  • Drop off books, craft supplies, and other entertainment items to a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation center.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Spend uninterrupted quality time with someone.
  • Fill bags with socks, nonperishable food items, soap, combs, and other useful items and hand them out to the homeless.
  • If you own a business, find a creative way to donate your time or services to a good cause. For example, if you own a restaurant, donate a tray of food to a local shelter.
  • Call a local cancer treatment center and ask if there are any items patients would enjoy while they undergo treatment (puzzle books, crocheting kits, DVDs, etc.)
  • Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
  • Send a sweet text message or note to someone you know.

When it comes to random acts of kindness, the possibilities are endless. Use your creativity and have fun with it!

Kindness is Good for Your Health

Even though the motivation behind doing kind things should be to brighten someone else's day, there are benefits for you as well! Aside from feeling good about your desire to help others, every time you do something nice for someone, the reward center of the brain is triggered and chemicals in the brain are released! Studies show that hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin are released, which all contribute to positive mood-altering feelings.

Practicing compassion allows you to connect and empathize with others. Whenever we help others and experience these positive feelings, we're motivated to keep repeating kind behaviors. Volunteering initiates feelings of purpose, offers an eye-opening perspective into others lives, and can be calming, especially for those struggling with anxiety or depression.

Only good things can come from doing nice things for other people, so try your best to fill this year with benevolence and positivity by celebrating small, random acts of kindness.