Do Good, Feel Good!
Doing good for others is good for you! Acts of kindness release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall well-being.
Most research on the science behind why kindness makes us feel better is centered around a hormone called oxytocin. Often referred to as “the love hormone,” oxytocin helps us create bonds and makes us more trusting, more generous, and friendlier. It can also help lower blood pressure. Acts of kindness give our love hormones a boost and help us feel better mentally and physically.
The Science of Kindness
How Kindness Helps…
Increases self-esteem: Research has shown that all acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, have a positive influence on your self-esteem. Doing something nice for someone else makes you feel better about yourself!
Improves mood: Kindness provides a boost to hormones in your brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being. This phenomenon is called a “helpers high” because the pleasure and reward centers of your brain light up when you do something nice for another person.
Lowers cortisol (stress hormone): Some data indicates that perpetually kind people have lower cortisol levels than the average population. More kindness means less stress!
Kindness is contagious…in a good way! The science of kindness continues to support the “Golden Rule” – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When you receive kindness you are more likely to express kindness to others. Start with one small act of kindness towards a friend, co-worker, or stranger because you never know how big of an impact you may have.
Kindness as a Treatment for Pain, Depression and Anxiety
According to Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, “Mindfulness-based therapy is becoming increasingly popular for treating depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. The therapy is built on mindfulness meditation, documenting your gratitude, and acts of kindness. People being treated in a mindfulness-based therapy program incorporate acts of kindness into their daily routines.”
50 Random Acts of Kindness at Work
- Bring a co-worker their favorite coffee.
- Bring a healthy snack to a staff meeting.
- Champion another person’s ideas.
- Clean up a mess you didn’t make.
- Deliver someone’s print job to them at their desk.
- Donate leave to someone in need.
- Give a co-worker a break.
- Give a friend/co-worker a book that has impacted your life.
- Give a gift to someone for no reason.
- Give someone a high-five and a compliment.
- Give someone a ride to work or a ride home.
- Give up your parking spot.
- Go an entire day without complaining out loud.
- Help someone with a heavy load.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Invite a co-worker on a walk.
- Invite a co-worker to lunch.
- Learn the names of your co-worker’s spouse, kids, dog, etc.
- Leave a note of gratitude for the cleaning crew.
- Leave a sticky note with a positive message on the bathroom mirror.
- Leave money at the vending machine so someone can have a free treat.
- Lend a helping hand when you see an opportunity.
- Lend someone a pen.
- Lend someone your umbrella.
- Let go of a grudge.
- Let someone merge in front of you in traffic.
- Make a get-well card for someone.
- Make sure everyone in your meeting feels included.
- Offer to help a co-worker with a project.
- Pass along coupons you won’t use.
- Pick up litter while you’re walking around your building.
- Prepare a meal for someone who is struggling.
- Put your phone away in the presence of others.
- Recognize when someone is struggling and offer your support.
- Refill the ink cartridge or paper tray.
- Relay an overheard compliment to the person it is about.
- Remember your co-worker’s birthday.
- Say “please” and “thank you.”
- Say you’re sorry.
- Send a text with an uplifting quote.
- Smile at a stranger in your building.
- Start a conversation with someone you normally wouldn’t talk to.
- Support someone (or their kid) who is raising money for a good cause.
- Take time to give directions to someone who looks lost in or around your building.
- Talk about something other than work with a co-worker.
- Tell a (work-appropriate) joke.
- Tell someone’s manager they are doing a good job.
- Verbally acknowledge one of your co-workers.
- When others gossip, be the one to chime in and say something nice.
- Write a thank you note.