the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate"
Kindness is teachable, contagious, and it actually has scientifcally proven health benefits...and when it comes to motherhood, we need to celebrate the magic, the journey, and the mamahood sisterhood - that we're all in this together, just doing the very best we possibly can.
We're encouraging you to practice random acts of kindness this week, just because, and as often as you can...
Looking for some easy ideas to spread love and kindness throughout the world? Consider some of these ideas below:
- Pay for the person's order behind you in the Starbucks drive-through
- Bring a homemade meal to your local firehouse
- Sign up to volunteer
- Buy a meal for someone who is homeless
- Clean out your closet and donate clothes to a women's shelter
- Organize your litte's toys and donate anything they've grown out of to children in need
- Bake something with love or bring in treats to your office
- Bring in art supplies to your little one's class
- Donate money or time to/at an organization you believe in
- Start a free book mailbox in your neighborhood
- Bring flowers, a card, or a pint of ice cream to a friend going through a hard time
- Visit someone in a nursing home who would love some conversation
- Send a care package to someone overseas in the military
- Print and pass out the #mamahoodsisterhood card (below)
THE LOVE HORMONE
Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re in anxious or shy in a social situation.
“About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” CHRISTINE CARTER, UC BERKELEY, GREATER GOOD SCIENCE CENTER
A 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who are altruistic—in this case, people who were generous financially, such as with charitable donations—were happiest overall.
“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.” CHRISTINE CARTER, AUTHOR, “RAISING HAPPINESS; IN PURSUIT OF JOYFUL KIDS AND HAPPIER PARENTS”
According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!
Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller!
Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population!
A group of highly anxious individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA STUDY
Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.
Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.
(all facts above via Random Acts of Kindess, 2018).
Looking for an easy way to teach your kids about kindness? There's the sweetest book we're obsessed with called Have you Filled a Bucket Today? and it's heartwarming words encourage positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by "filling buckets." You and your kids will love it.