Psychologist Dr Mimi Goess-Saurau marks World Kindness Day by looking at the health benefits kind acts can give.
Kindness is hard wired into us. Our ancestors had to be kind to one another to increase their chances of survival, the stronger their emotional bonds were the greater their chances for a long life and the survival of the species.
Kindness makes you happier and there are also some highly beneficial biological side effects of kindness that are worth mentioning:
- Kindness is good for the heart. Ever noticed those warm feelings after you have helped someone? This is also called the ‘Helper's High’ and is created by an increased production of dopamine in our brains, which is our natural version of morphine. At the same time we also produce the hormone oxytocin, which expands the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
- Kindness is anti-ageing. Free radicals and inflammation are two factors behind how you age. That same oxytocin that is good for the heart is also good for your skin, as it reduces the free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and reduces the speed of ageing. Kindness really does show on your face!
For more information about World Kindness Day go to www.randomactsofkindness.org
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.