We all benefit from being kind to others in the form of better physical and mental health. Fortunately, choosing to be kind is simple and free, and anyone at any age can do it.
The Dalai Lama famously said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Numerous studies have shown that being kind is good for your mental and physical health. Those who practice kindness regularly report feeling happier, more confident, and more satisfied with their lives in general. The reason being is science has found that people who engage in kind acts release more oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, hormones that boost our self-esteem and optimism and make us feel happy. Being kind helps reduce anxiety levels and decreases your risk of depression, too.
The positive effects of kindness are not limited to our mental health either. Acts of kindness release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, increase energy levels, and strengthen the immune system. A Mayo Clinic study found that people who regularly engage in acts of kindness have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their system, lower blood pressure, and are at a reduced risk of heart disease.
Seniors who practice kindness also have a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and are more likely to live longer than those who don’t because being kind creates a sense of belonging and being part of a community, which reduces feelings of social isolation. Volunteering, a simple act of kindness, has been linked to better physical health, cognitive function, and a longer life according to a study of Americans 55 and older who volunteer their time to help others on a regular basis.
Being kind does not take any special skills or cost anything and there are opportunities to show kindness to others everywhere all the time. Simple and easy acts of kindness include:
- Paying someone a compliment
- Holding the door or an elevator for someone
- Saying thank you to a service worker
- Checking in with a friend or neighbor after an illness or death in their family
- Picking up litter and disposing of it properly
- Donating used books to a local library, and the list could go on.
Random Acts of Kindness Day was started in 1995 by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in Denver and is observed on February 17. You don’t have to wait until then to begin having a positive impact on others and yourself by choosing to be kind. You can start right now and make it a habit to begin reaping the personal rewards of kindness while making the world a better place.
Residents in The Towers community are known for their kindness from volunteering on the Resident Advisory Committee to joining the Neighborhood Meet and Greet events to welcome new residents and make them feel at home. If you or a loved one are searching for a retirement community where kindness is practiced every day schedule a tour via our website or by calling 303-444-3967.