Author's Note: Today's blog is in honor of my kindness hero, "Nurse Nancy" Harmon.
I went to see the documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor," which detailed the life and work of Fred Rogers. If you're over 40, you'll know him as the long-time star of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS. What I took away from the film is the power of kindness. On screen, (and in real life, according to the documentary) Mr. Rogers practiced kindness on a daily basis.
Did you know that kindness can have effects on your emotional and physical wellness? More than just the good feeling that comes along with doing something nice for someone else, there is scientific evidence that kindness affects our body and mind.
According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, practicing kindness:
1) Increases oxytocin (also known as the "love hormone") which lowers your blood pressure, which improves your heart health.
2) Increases your energy. One study found increases in feelings of self-worth and decreased depression in those who practiced kindness.
3) Lengthens your life. A study found that those who volunteered had a 44% reduced risk of dying, independent of other risk factors like exercise and smoking status.
4) A happy brain. Helping others has been shown to light up those
pleasure/reward centers of our mind.
5) Increases Serotonin, which may help combat depression. This can help improve satisfaction with life and physical health.
6) Decreases pain, by producing endorphins.
7) Decreases stress hormones (cortisol) by almost 25%.
It's easy to get started. Here are some ideas.
Random Acts of Kindness Monthly Idea Calendars
For Teachers, K-8 Lesson Plans
For Kindness Ideas
From the website I Love Inspired