What has kindness ever done for you?
Have you ever wondered why we are kind? Today is World Kindness Day but for our own health every day should be Kindness Day.
We are hardwired for kindness. That means that our brain rewards us when we are kind to others because it recognises how good it is for us. Being kind can help you to reduce your menopause symptoms. Let me explain.
Just imagine back thousands of years when your human brain was forming – it’s a long time ago so you might not remember! Acts of kindness in those dangerous times could protect and prolong your life.
If your cave neighbour shared some berries with you or gave you some firewood or looked after your kids so that you could go hunting and gathering those actions could be life-savers. So your brain built a system to encourage you to be kind.
That same brain system still operates today. Regular kindness:
- Releases beneficial hormones into the bloodstream
- Lowers your stress levels
- Reduces your blood pressure
- Improves your cardiovascular health
- Slows the signs of ageing
- Creates stronger relationships
- Strengthens your immune system
- Makes you happier
- Kindness leads to more kindness – it’s contagious
Research has shown that couples who are kind to each other have less calcification of the arteries. They are literally less hardhearted than their less kind peers. How amazing is that?
At menopause you need all of the benefits of kindness. Committing to being kind once a day could be the start of a life-saving habit. And it doesn’t need to be anything big or difficult or cost you anything. Here’s some ideas:
- Send a thank you note or text
- Smile at someone
- Give a friend a hug
- Volunteer for an activity
- Give a compliment
- Check in on a friend who is unwell or struggling
- Give a completed coffee shop loyalty card to a homeless person
- Take clothes and books you don’t need to a charity shop.
- Give way to another driver on the road
- Have some small coins in your pocket that you can give to a charity or homeless person
This is not just about being kind to others. It is also about being kind to yourself. More about that in the next blog.
Let’s make November a month of kindness and watch the ripples spreading out.