Random Acts of Kindness Month: The Health Benefits of Kindness

Since 1949, the Mental Health Foundation has been the UK’s leading charity for everyone’s mental health. They take a public mental health approach to prevention, finding solutions for individuals, those at risk and for society, in order to improve everyone’s mental wellbeing. It is not surprising, then, that they have a thing or two to say about the benefits of kindness, and so we start Random Acts of Kindness Month by looking at their review of the health benefits of kindness. You can learn more at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/about-us

The health benefits of kindness

  • Helping others feels good – Research shows that acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of well-being.  Helping others can also improve our support networks and encourage us to be more active.  This, in turn, can improve our self-esteem.  There is some evidence to suggest that when we help others, it can promote changes in the brain that are linked with happiness.
  • It creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation – Helping others is thought to be one of the ways that people create, maintain, and strengthen their social connections. For example, volunteering and helping others can help us feel a sense of belonging, make new friends, and connect with our communities.
  • It helps to keep things in perspective – Many of us don’t realize the effect a different perspective can have on our outlook on life. There is some evidence that being aware of our own acts of kindness, as well as the things we are grateful for, can increase feelings of happiness, optimism and satisfaction. Doing good may also help us to have a more positive outlook on our own circumstances.
  • It’s contagious – Acts of kindness can make the world a happier place for everyone. They can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism. They may also encourage others to repeat the good deeds they’ve experienced themselves – contributing to a more positive community. 
  • Helping others helps you – The benefits of helping others can last long after the act itself, for those who offer kindness, and those who benefit. This, in turn, can improve our self-esteem.