2021 is drawing to a close and naturally we reflect back on the year we had and most of us are probably looking back a little further recalling our lives prior to COVID-19. It’s been a difficult 2 years for humankind and so how do we go forward? What is it that we all have in common, that we can all do and can affect our global family? We all have within us the capability to be KIND to one another and to ourselves. And when we tap into that common thread among us it can spread like wildfire. I think we can agree that no matter who you are, where you are, what circumstances you’re in, that a little kindness goes a long way. I can recall an experience I had awhile ago when I was grocery shopping, and I was putting my groceries in the trunk of my car in the pouring rain. I had put my last bag in the trunk and was about to bring the cart to the corral and out of nowhere a woman grabbed my cart and said, “I can bring it back for you, there is no sense in both of us getting soaked”. I can’t describe the enormity of my feelings at that moment. I was initially surprised, which made me wonder why I would feel surprised by another person’s act of kindness. And then I felt such gratitude and happiness that it carried me for a few days after. This woman didn’t know me or the impression it left upon me but that is the beauty of kindness. It doesn’t require much to do but the affect can be life changing. Since that encounter, I am always looking for ways to pay it forward.
Did you know kindness is good for your health?
According to several studies kindness can:
- Cause a production of oxytocin which helps in lowering blood pressure and improving overall heart health
- Increase self-esteem and optimism
- Increase happiness
- Increase longevity
- Increase serotonin, the chemical that heals wounds, calms and makes you happy
- Decreases pain by releasing endorphins – natural painkillers
- Decreases stress because of less cortisol
- Decreases anxiety and depression
- Kindness is contagious
If kindness to others can have all these amazing effects on your health imagine what it could do when you also are kind to yourself! Here are 52 ways to be kinder to yourself cited by Inc.com
- Embrace your own power and you’ll be better able to empower others.
- Learn to calm your mind. A calm mind is the best weapon against even the biggest challenges.
- Have a courageous conversation. Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
- Create media blackout days. Shut out all the screens and other things that distract or disturb you.
- Be true to your word. Speak with integrity; say only what you mean and never speak ill of yourself or others. Use the power of your words in service to truth and kindness.
- Do the right thing, even if no one is watching. Doing the right thing may hurt, but doing the wrong thing causes lasting harm.
- Spend time with people who do good things. Never stop doing things for others and spend your precious time with others who share that spirit.
- Embrace the unknown. Fear of the unknown can be truly paralyzing but having the courage and conviction to take a chance can turn fear to your advantage.
- Be compassionate toward yourself. Be as understanding with yourself as you would be with your best friend. If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
- Celebrate your growth. Sometimes we forget to celebrate how far we’ve come. Mental, emotional, and spiritual growth don’t happen automatically. They take work and perseverance, and they’re worth rewarding.
- Don’t ever settle. Never accept less than you deserve, because once you start to settle, you always will.
- Stop worrying about what other people think. The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.
- Don’t live your life online. Make sure you’re spending time with people face-to-face and living fully in real life.
- Treat others with respect. Treating others with respect and generosity is associated with high self-esteem.
- Realize you are worthy and deserving. There’s a big difference between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing you are worthy of happiness.
- Be kind to others. Set an example. Treat everyone with the same consideration you want for yourself.
- Express yourself courageously. Speak your truth and live to express, not to impress.
- Be your own superhero. Remember, superheroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.
- Shut down negative self-talk. The things you tell yourself every day are either going to lift you up or tear you down. It’s your choice.
- Hold yourself to a high standard. Never let anyone tell you your standards are too high. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for yourself.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take your work and your responsibilities seriously, but yourself not so much.
- Do something you’re afraid to do. Learn to overcome fear with will.
- Take time off. Everyone deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solution searched for. There’s no harm in withdrawing from your cares for a while.
- Learn to forgive. In any conflict, the first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest, and the first to forget is the happiest.
- Set big goals. Set daily, monthly, and long-term goals built on your dreams. Never be afraid you’re thinking too big–nothing is impossible. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve it.
- Respect yourself fully. Always treat yourself with the same respect you show others. Remember, the world sees what you put out there–so hold yourself to a high standard.
- Give to others. Giving is the master key to happiness in life. It’s in giving that we receive the most.
- Truly listen to people when they are speaking. Stop every other action and thought and focus on what’s being said.
- Go to bed early. You’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive.
- Help others. Don’t look for a reason to help people; just do it.
- Change your thoughts to change your life. If you truly want to be better to yourself, start by listening to your thoughts. Your mind is a powerful thing, and when you fill it with positive thoughts amazing things can happen.
- Stop trying to fit in. When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. Concentrate instead on being yourself and standing out.
- Think of a way to make your life easier, then do it. If something doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.
- Stop judging yourself. One of the most important ways we can be kinder to ourselves is to stop judging ourselves. Don’t sum up your whole life in one moment.
- Make the most of every opportunity. When opportunity knocks, don’t let fear hold you back. Open the door and embrace the opportunity, because it may be the most important one you’ll receive.
- Learn to let things go. Sometimes the best way to be happy is to learn to let go of things you tried hard to hold on to.
- Ask for help. Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.
- Stay focused. Keep yourself on task and you’ll discover more free time.
- Be fully present. To be present in the moment is one of the greatest acts of kindness you can give yourself.
- Take time for yourself. There is a virtue in work and there is virtue in taking time off. Enjoy both in balance.
- Nourish yourself. What if you devoted the coming year to simply caring for yourself? Don’t make excuses, adjustments, or improvements–just do whatever it takes to nurture yourself.
- Bring music into your life. Music gives wings to the mind and flight to the imagination.
- Get out and have fun. There’s no valid reason not to enjoy your life every day.
- Appreciate people in your life. Appreciation can make someone’s day or even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words, even awkwardly, is all that is necessary.
- Learn to dance freely. Even if it’s only when nobody’s watching, learn to let yourself be loose and enjoy each step.
- Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep yourself motivated and moving forward.
- Try to bring meaning to every day. It’s important to remember that we all have meaning within us.
- Learn to apologize. Apologizing doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right–sometimes it just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
- Boldly challenge yourself. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
- Treat yourself to a personal health day. Take time off and get a massage, eat great food, do nothing, take a walk, work out, whatever you do–treat yourself to whatever makes you happy.
- Be your own best friend. It’s far better than being your own worst enemy.
- Reinvent yourself. Life isn’t about finding yourself; life will always be about creating yourself.
As a retired registered massage therapist, I’ve always been interested in health. I grew up loving sports so that carried into my adult life in my chosen career paths and in my personal life. I now stay active with weight training, hiking and biking. My professional life has always been in health care. This has inspired me to seek out and adopt a life of natural health and wellness.
1 thought on “9 Amazing Affects of Kindness on Health”
Wonderful read! We all need these reminders of kindness making the world go around!!