If you are on a downward spiral, in a slump, or feeling under the weather, the antidote may just lie in a random act of kindness. According to Allan Luks, a leading expert on how helping others can benefit your emotions and physical health, those who perform a kind act experience a helper’s high. This feeling is characterized by a sharp reduction in stress, the release of the body’s natural painkillers, and a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being. And, just remembering the act of kindness can bring back this helper’s high.
The physical and mental benefits of a helper’s high are many. To name just a few:
- A decrease in both the intensity and awareness of physical pain
- An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness and optimism
- A decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression
- A strengthening of the immune system and an improvement in stress-related health problems
- A reduction in feelings of isolation
But perhaps the greatest benefit is in knowing that your act of kindness can start a positive chain of events, that one random act of kindness can have far-reaching effects. Just watch this video…and I bet you’ll be smiling at its conclusion!
So, want to play it forward? Here are some ideas:
- Smile (its contagious)
- Pay someone a compliment
- Hold the door for someone
- Give up your place in line
- Give up your seat on the bus or train
- Put money in a meter
- Give someone a coupon
- Write a thank you note
I’d love to hear about your experiences with random acts of kindness. Have you been the recipient of a kind act? How did that feel? Have you experienced a helper’s high?
Let’s play it forward and keep a positive momentum building!!!