World Kindness Day
Discovery Place Science
World Kindness Day is observed internationally every year on November 13. Did you know there are scientifically proven benefits to being kind? When we are a part of an act of kindness, it creates a chemical response in our brain. So, what does that mean for us?
Oxytocin is one of the hormones released by the brain during an act of kindness that promotes feelings of connectedness and trust as well as self-esteem and optimism. Oxytocin also aids in lowering blood pressure which increases overall heart health.
Serotonin is another hormone that is stimulated by an act of kindness and is responsible for stabilizing our mood. When serotonin is released, a person may experience an increase in feelings of happiness and a decrease in feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
Endorphins are another type of hormone that we see released when engaging in an act of kindness. Endorphins are associated with feelings of happiness and reduced pain.
The benefits don’t stop there. Kindness is contagious! The positive effects of kindness not only affect the giver and receiver of the act, but everyone who witnessed it. When people witness an act of kindness, they are more likely to perform an act of kindness themselves.
The presence of these hormones in the body helps to regulate mood, sleep patterns, appetite and many other functions in the body which in turn creates a happier and healthier life. However, this influx of hormones doesn’t last forever.
In order to get lasting effects, we must make an effort to make kindness a part of our daily lives. So, call a family member, help a friend or hold the door for a stranger; it’s good for the mind, the body and the world!