The Impact of Kindness on Your Mental Health
A simple gesture or act of kindness can go a long way. It can change someone’s day, perspective or even their life. At Live Wellness Center, we’re looking forward to celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 12-18), a week to celebrate and promote acts of kindness.
We all know that acts of kindness benefit others, but did you know that acts of kindness also benefit your mental health?
Intentional kindness improves mental health
When you look at all of the benefits, it’s easy to see that a lifestyle of intentional kindness is good for you and your mental health. For example, did you know that being kind also makes you feel happy? When we do something nice for someone else, it causes us to feel joy. Also, kindness has been found to stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical in our bodies that helps us to balance our moods and feel happy.
In addition, being kind to others also takes the focus off of ourselves. For those suffering from anxiety and depression, a strong focus on self can often make you feel worse. If you take your mind off of yourself, you’re likely to see an improvement* in your overall mental health.
Lastly, when we are intentionally kind to those around us, it also naturally strengthens our relationships. Acts of kindness have a tendency to draw us closer to each other, and having positive relationships with friends and family has a positive impact on our mental health. Simply knowing that we are loved and supported can reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.
10 Ideas for acts of kindness
The good news is that kindness is contagious! When we receive an act of kindness from someone, it prompts us to want to be kind to someone else. Start looking for ways to be kind today, and you may just start a trend in your community. Below are 10 ideas to get your started.
- Let someone else go first.
- Give an unexpected gift.
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through or the grocery store.
- The next time you’re in a restaurant, leave an extremely generous tip.
- Do a chore for someone without telling them.
- Write a handwritten note telling someone something you appreciate about them.
- Bake cookies for someone.
- Hold the door open.
- In the wintertime, you can shovel your neighbor’s driveway.
- Smile! Sometimes a simple smile is enough to brighten someone’s day.
Once you start looking for opportunities to be kind, you’ll find that they are all around you. We hope you’ll consider looking for opportunities in your life, and we also invite you to join us as we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, beginning February 12.
– Loren Pilkington Freelance Writer, Live Wellness Center
*If you’re suffering from anxiety and depression we do recommend that you speak to a professional counselor. While random acts of kindness may help increase your happiness, you may still need to talk to a therapist.
Professional Counseling | Compassionate Care
This article should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any condition or illness. At no time is a professional relationship established with anyone by reading this article. Live Wellness Center has a team of caring professional therapists to help you find restoration, mental health and overall wellness. Call us for an appointment at 614-437- 9910.