Random acts of kindness
You don’t need us to tell you that there’s a lot of negativity about these days. We’ve a good few sporting highlights over the summer but as well as that some people are doing what they can to counteract the doom and gloom.
This weekend in Clonakilty, they’re hosting the first ever Random Acts of Kindness Festival. They say on their website “We believe that this positivity and kindness will multiply and spread throughout the locality creating a special atmosphere.”
Why the effort?
What’s the deal with doing random acts of kindness anyway? Why would you put effort into something, and not expect anything back?
Well, research has shown that doing nice things for other people is actually good for your own mental health and happiness. They can even be the little things like a hug. It’s all about the little things.
Live longer and healthier
People who are kind to others tend to live longer lives. In addition, they’re less likely to get sick or have aches and pains. Some research has shown that the benefits of happiness from volunteering is more likely to improve your quality of life than exercising and can be just as beneficial as quitting smoking!
You know that good feeling you get after helping someone out? There’s actually a term for that – “helper’s high” When we experience a helper’s high, our brain releases dopamine, one of those “feel good chemicals” in the brain. When our brains release dopamine, we are more likely to think positively and feel more relaxed.
Lower stress and depression
The knock-on effect of helper’s high then helps you feel less stressed and anxious. Helping others also significantly reduces symptoms of depression, especially in young people. In one study, young people who volunteered for the sole purpose of helping others were three times happier then young people who volunteered for other reasons.
Meeting new people
Random acts of kindness and volunteering helps bring people together. It’s a great way to meet new, like-minded people. You never know who you’ll meet.
So, if volunteering and helping others makes you so happy, you live longer, healthier, and it reduces anxiety and depression why not start paying it forward? The best part about helping others? It’s free! It only costs you a smile and as they say in Clonakilty, the positivity can multiply and spread.