Sunday, September 26, 2010

Feeling Stressed? Kindness Cures

One of my favorite print and online magazines, ODE Magazine, promotes "Intelligent Optimism" and regularly delivers on that promise. Here is a smart path for feeling better.

Four ways that kindness promotes a healthy lifestyle

We may feel this instant rush of gratitude when someone does something nice for us without asking, or even a feeling of pride when we ourselves “pay it forward,” but do we truly know the effect kindness has on us? After doing some research I came to realize that many are unaware that kindness isn’t just good for the soul, its good for the body and mind too. I’ve narrowed down the top four reasons why it feels good to give.

Kindness reduces stress

After performing an act of kindness you may feel a rush of euphoria also know as a “helpers high.” This happens when your body releases endorphins followed by a period of calm, reducing depression, chest pain and the feeling of isolation.

Kindness is a pain killer

If you’re in pain you may be constantly craving Tylenol in hopes of erasing the annoyance, but with by a simple good deed, you brain increases its serotonin level (a neurotransmitter that improves mood) helping those who suffer from chronic conditions.

Kindness is free joy

According to Allan Luks, former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health, volunteering on a rapid basis produces the same kind of joy as doubling your income or gaining a college degree. I guess it is true that money can’t buy you as much happiness as social interactions can.

Kindness is an immunity booster

Forget using Airborne to combat seasonal flu before it starts, creating new relationships with strangers and helping those with troubles can boost your immune system as well as the recipients. Researchers say that a steady release of endorphins strengthens the immune system. Your body will be thanking you and so will your wallet.

Today’s world can be so hectic that we often forget to take time to think about ourselves let alone others. Being kind to others takes less time than you may think and produces an even greater feeling of appreciation then you may expect.


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