Be Kind, It’s Good for Your Heart!!
Could kindness be a magic elixir that makes us happier – and healthier?
Research suggests acts of kindness like donating money, volunteering, and mentoring can boost the giver’s emotional health, but science also studies how altruism improves physical health.
Some research studies link kindness with the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that contribute to mood and well-being.
Waguih William IsHak, professor and clinical chief of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, said the hormone oxytocin, in particular, benefits overall wellness because of its anti-inflammatory, pro-immunity, and anti-stress effects.
“Kindness, whether experienced through performing random acts of kindness, loving-kindness meditation, or other means, has a profound impact on one’s well-being,” said IsHak.
Researchers also are studying how altruism improves physical health in measurable ways, such as lowering blood pressure or strengthening the immune system. One study showed spending money on others improved the cardiovascular health of at-risk older adults diagnosed with high blood pressure.