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The science of kindness #AOKAiredale

By 5 January 2022No Comments
Spread a little happiness

Did you know that kindness brings with it lots of health benefits?

Kindness increases:

Oxytocin (aka the love hormone): Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Oxytocin also increases self-esteem and optimism.

Energy: People feel stronger and more energetic after helping others.

Happiness: People who are altruistic are reported to be happier overall.

Pleasure: When you are kind to other people, your brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed – not the giver.

Serotonin: Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical calms you down and makes you happy.


Kindness decreases:

Pain: Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller.

Stress: Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (stress hormone) and age slower than the average population.

Depression: When we are kind, while life satisfaction and physical health are improves, mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and wellbeing is improved.

Anxiety: After a month of carrying out at least six acts of kindness per week, highly anxious individuals were reported to have had a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.

Blood pressure: Acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Oxytocin is known as a “cardio protective” hormone – it protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.