Did you know that making someone’s day can also make yours?
“A kind gesture that is altruistic can have many mental health benefits for both the giver and the receiver, and even just witnessing a kind act can help reduce stress, anxiety and improve your overall mood,” said Michelle Buglas, Manager, Mental Health and Addictions Services for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Saskatoon.
Buglas said that when you are being kind to others, it stimulates the production of serotonin, a chemical created in your body which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. It also reduces blood pressure through the release of oxytocin, helps with depression and increases your overall feelings of self-worth.
The most surprising news? The person initiating the kind gesture may get even greater mental health benefits than the person on the receiving end.
“The act doesn’t have to be reciprocated in order for there to be mental health benefits, and it could be as simple as sharing a smile with someone, giving them a note to show your gratitude or even just buying them a coffee – as long as it’s from the heart,” said Buglas.