Acts of Kindness can Improve your Happiness!
Acts of kindness can take on many forms big or small. They could be as simple as holding the door open for someone or doing a favor like taking a friend or loved one to an appointment. We often do these actions with little to no expectations in return, an altruistic act if you will.
But the reality is that these selfless actions actually do benefit us, both physically and mentally.
Studies have linked kindness with the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that contribute to well-being and mood, making the individual overall happier and less stress. It’s also been linked to lower blood pressure and a strengthened the immune system.
Not all acts of kindness are equal. An article, Helping and Happiness: A Review and Guide for Public Policy, found that three types of acts that were the most beneficial. They were:
- Acts that were voluntarily chosen to perform
- Acts that you can see make a positive impact on the person receiving the action
- Acts that connect you with people or ones done face-to-face
A great kindness practice is to do a Loving Kindness meditation which moves your attention to yourself, those near you, your community, and the world as whole. This is an excellent practice for stroke and traumatic brain injury as it encourages appreciation for oneself and connection with the greater community.
Loving Kindness meditation is just one of the many meditations we use in our weekly online chair yoga class for stroke and TBI. Learn more about our online chair yoga classes and meditation practices here.
Source: American Heart Association; Select Health