The Gift Of Kindness You Deserve

You deserve to give yourself the gift of kindness!

In my last post in this end of year series I looked at the benefits of being kind to others. As we approach Christmas with all the stress and challenges it can bring alongside the joy I wanted to take a look at the benefits of being kind to you.

At this time of year when we give and receive gifts why not give yourself the gift of kindness!

Kindness Gives You Energy

Studies have shown the very act of being kind to someone else leaves the giver with feelings of energy and well-being they were not experiencing before the kind act.

Kindness Reduces Stress

For whatever reason, a kind act reduces cortisol in the giver by up by 23%. Cortisol is the hormone our bodies produce when under stress. If you don’t think this is significant, consider this: Cortisol is responsible for high blood pressure, significantly raised high blood sugar, the suppression of your immune system, and negatively impacts your ability to think.

Kindness Improves Heart Health

As noted before, the effects of stress reduction mean you’re going to see some positive impact on your blood pressure when you’re kind to others. But kind acts also raise your levels of oxytocin, which is known to improve overall heart health. As an added benefit, oxytocin is also the chemical enabling us to feel optimistic and more confident.

Kindness Reduces Pain

When we want to reduce pain naturally, the trick is to find some way to release endorphins in the brain. Kindness has been proven to do just that. In fact, this is just part of the whole “feel good” effect of being kind.

Kindness Boosts Pleasure

There are more than endorphins at work here, though. When someone does something nice for us, there are certain parts of the brain having to do with pleasure and rewards, that light up like a Christmas tree. Believe it or not, those same areas show just as much activity when you’re being kind to someone else as when someone is being kind to you.

Kindness Acts as an Antidepressant

Acts of kindness have been shown to act as an antidepressant by producing serotonin, the ingredient used in many medications used for depression and anxiety, naturally.

Kindness Can Help You to Live Longer

Extensive studies have proven when people over the age of 55 volunteer, they reduce their mortality by! There are reported to be even higher benefits than are found even through exercising regularly.

This is a lot of benefit from just showing kindness to someone else. Now imagine the power of showing kindness to yourself.

When we treat ourselves well, we see all of these health benefits magnified. Here’s where we start experiencing a shift in our point of view. We’re more forgiving of ourselves and stop negative self-talk, which is so damaging to self-esteem. We start seeing our contributions as being valuable. We start dreaming bigger and create more concrete goals for our lives. As a result, we accomplish more of what we set out to do.

We also become more content in our lives. Satisfaction goes up, even as stress and anxiety go down. We really do become happier, and not just in the way our brain chemicals are arranged. We become happier individuals. So how will you give yourself the gift of kindness throughout the year?

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