The Mental Health Benefit

The relationship between happiness and kindness is undeniable: doing kind things helps us feel happier. Science has shown that performing acts of kindness boosts serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which causes us to feel an increased sense of satisfaction and well-being. These benefits can also be felt by witnessing acts of kindness or being on the receiving end of acts of kindness. Participating in acts of kindness also drives social connection, which has been shown to positively benefit mental well-being.

With such positive impacts, incorporating acts of kindness into your daily or weekly routine can be a wonderful way to spread joy, forge connections with those around you, and increase your own happiness and mental well-being.

Acts of Kindness

Even the smallest act of kindness can drive positive change. Here are some simple ideas to get you started on incorporating these acts of kindness into your life:

  • Mail a handwritten letter to a friend or family member
  • Write positive messages on sticky notes and leave them in public for others to find
  • Give a local business you like a good review online
  • Text or call a friend and share a random good memory you shared together
  • Leave a few quarters at a laundromat or by a vending machine for someone to find

If you are looking for more long-term ways to incorporate acts of kindness into your life, consider finding opportunities to volunteer regularly or get involved in your community as a way to serve others. It’s important to find something you enjoy doing and get fulfilment from as well. You might consider:

  • Soup Kitchens and Food Banks – volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food bank is a wonderful way to be of service to your community and bring comfort to others.
  • Tutoring or Mentoring – helping the younger generations as a tutor or mentor can have a lasting impact on both parties involved.
  • Senior Companionship – many nursing homes offer volunteer opportunities to help combat the loneliness many seniors can feel.
  • Animal Shelters – volunteering at an animal shelter can help bring comfort to furry friends as they wait for their forever homes.
  • Community Projects – many communities offer season volunteer opportunities to participate in community projects like clean-ups, planting projects, or painting and restoration opportunities.

A Culture of Kindness

Being kind isn’t just a nice thing to do – it has the power to transform our communities and our workplaces. Creating a culture of kindness means making a conscious choice to spread warmth and drive connections. Whether it’s a small gesture like a smile or a more significant act of service, each action has a ripple effect. It shapes the way we interact with each other, and sparks happiness on both the giving and receiving ends of the kindness.

Workplaces, especially, can benefit from having a culture of kindness. Whether your company operates remote or in-person, kindness can positively benefit all teammates. There are many ways to incorporate kindness into your work culture, but one of the easiest and most beneficial ways is through recognition. Recognition – a ‘good job!’ after a presentation, or a kind call out in a meeting for a teammate who performed well, met a goal or completed a project – can help to boost self-esteem and fulfilment, and according to Gallup, can help combat employee burnout.

For more information, Uprise Health’s member resource center offers a variety of blogs, handouts, and webinars that address ways to promote happiness, control stress and practice mindfulness and gratitude, as well as how to live a healthier life.