So, can kindness help you live longer? While most won’t dispute that it can help you live better to be kinder and gentler to all around you, can it actually prolong or extend your lifespan? Consider some compelling reasons why it makes good sense to be kind- especially in today’s often harsh world.
As National Be Kind To Humankind Week approaches this August, 25th-31st 2020, everyone is reminded to be kind. It can be tough to put others first during a time that can be described as nothing short of challenging; but, what can you do to make the world a better, kinder place? Consider the ripple-effects of a single, random act of kindness; it can be extraordinary! While it may be tough to remain optimistic during this pandemic, think of how your actions may actually be interconnected with your overall health and wellbeing.
So, can being kind help you live longer? Consider these benefits to simple kindness:
Many researchers feel that the relationships of an individual contribute to their health, wellbeing, and longevity. In fact, to be kind may enhance your social supports and extend your life. Empathy- or the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes- is something that can spur a person to be kind; go ahead and consider someone else’s situation, perspective, and circumstance. Relating to others fosters friendships, and friendships nurture solidarity; this sense of solidarity and connection with others may contribute to a healthier, longer life. Be a friend!
Affect is a form of non-verbal communication; typically, it refers to your facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Social researchers indicate that when you have low, positive affect, you may struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is directly connected to mood, interest, participation, and focus. Researchers assert that when individuals engaged in acts of kindness, it improved affect and, thus, reduced the angst and anxiety previously noted. It should be mentioned that this occurred rather quickly, too, as many participants showed significantly better affect within a month of involvement in the study.
If you feel good, there is a good chance you will live a long life. Did you know that good deeds actually trigger feel-good endorphins in the brain, boosting serotonin, and creating a bit of a euphoria? Random acts of kindness can trigger feelings of overall wellbeing and life satisfaction; be altruistic! It feels good!
The American Heart Association reports that around every 40 seconds , someone in the US suffers a heart attack. Kindness may help with that statistic. According to medical professionals, acts of altruism and kindness cause the release of a specific hormone that dilates blood vessels throughout the body- including the heart. The ripple-effects is lower blood pressure which can reduce the risk of heart attack overall. Kindness actually fosters good heart health!
As mentioned, kindness can improve affect which contributes to anxiety, but it also can help reduce the stressors that are in your own life or situation by providing a glimpse into someone else’s frame of reality. Doing something to help others lets you forget about your own troubles for a little while and bask in the feeling of service to others. Being in this position may also offer unique insights that groom you into someone that can handle stress and strife calmly, making these incidents less of a health consequence. There are several old adages that reference putting yourself in someone else’s position to fully appreciate your own; kindness can help you achieve this perspective and provide feelings of life satisfaction for those willing to give to others.
Lower Illness Incidence
The hormone produced by acts of kindness and altruism also helps lower inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is connected to a wide range of health issues and problems, from chronic pain and migraines to obesity and cancer. Every time the feel-good hormone is released, you lower your inflammation and subsequent health risks. It seems that the kinder you are, the more powerful the anti-inflammatory properties these acts possess. Fascinating, isn’t it?
So, does kindness help you to live longer? Many experts would say ‘yes’! Consider all these possible benefits and scenarios to ascertain that kindness and the feelings that kind acts incur do improve overall health and wellbeing in ways that are significant and directly correlated to longevity and life expectancy. Want to live longer? Be kind to those around you; engage in random acts of kindness. It is possible that this might be the key to a longer, more fulfilling life.
Talk to the industry professionals at Pacific Mobility for mobility aids and devices to improve overall quality of life for someone living with physical limitations or disabilities. Want another way to enhance daily living? Be kind; according to some experts, it may help you live longer!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)