Today, October 5th is National Do Something Nice Day! Doing something nice just feels…nice! There are proven health benefits of being nice and doing nice things for others.
-Decreases Stress: According to a 2013 study examining the relationship between volunteering and hypertension, giving back can have a significant impact on lowered blood pressure. Researchers found that adults over 50 who volunteered about four hours a week were 40 percent less likely than non-volunteers to have developed hypertension four years later. High blood pressure due to stress is detrimental to our health, and is a major contributing factor to heart attacks and stroke, as well as mental health issues.
-Increases Life Expectancy: Researchers found a link between giving, unselfishness and a lower risk of early death. The findings show that people who often assisted friends or family members with doing things like running errands, helping with child care, etc. reported less stressful events and, consequently, had reduced mortality. Also, it gives us purpose and strengthens social bonds, which both have a direct connection to likelihood of a longer life. In other words, “helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality.”
-Helps Us Feel Better: Performing a good deed can come with a positive ‘rush’, and that sensation is known as ‘helper’s high’. When you do something nice, that good feeling is produced when your brain releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals of the brain like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. When you do something good for someone else, your brain’s pleasure centers light up, releasing endorphins and producing this high. Not to mention, doing good has also been known to generate feelings of satisfaction and gratitude.
-Kindness Prevents Illness: Inflammation in the body is associated with all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and migraines. It is also closely associated with brain aging and cognitive impairment and decline. According to a study of adults aged 57-85, “volunteering manifested the strongest association with lower levels of inflammation.” Oxytocin also reduces inflammation, and even little acts of kindness can trigger oxytocin’s release. Kindness may be the secret ingredient to a healthy, happy life. But don’t just take my word for it. Share a smile, make a donation, volunteer, or help others—then see how you feel!
Doing something nice doesn’t require much, just a little bit of good will and thoughtfulness. In fact, doing something nice has the power to change the course of a person’s day, no matter how small it is! It can even make the day of the person doing the nice thing. Some good ideas that take very little time and almost no effort include:
-Noticing someone’s signal in traffic and allowing them into your lane
-Opening or holding a door for another person
-Giving a compliment
-Letting someone with just a few items go before you in line at the grocery store
-Tipping your service staff an extra dollar or two more than you usually would
-Calling an elderly relative
-Buying a cup of coffee for someone in line at the coffee shop
-Sending flowers with a card that says “just because”
-Sending loved ones a text wishing them a good day
Doing nice things makes the world go round! Private Home Care encourages you to celebrate ‘National Do Something Nice Day’ by doing a little extra something nice, as well as doing nice deeds every single day!