These quick, simple acts of kindness can boost your health, happiness and wellbeing


Dog and cat sleeping peacefully together, best friends

It’s World Kindness Day, when people are encouraged to make kindness the norm and commit to being kinder all year round. But, what benefits does kindness have on our body and mind? We look into the science of kindness and why being kind makes you feel good.

Why be kind?

It seems obvious to say that being in receipt of kindness makes a person feel good. But can the benefits of a kind act compare to other pleasurable experiences? Can kindness offer as many benefits as a hearty meal or a gift on one’s birthday?

While a kind act can’t provide you with any calories, it’s not simply a throwaway experience. When someone is surprisingly kind to you – a stranger holds an elevator door open, your coffee is ‘on the house’ – the kind act triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, an area known as the brain’s pleasure centre.

One of the largest studies into kindness and its effects on a population showed that people who regularly receive kindness have higher levels of overall wellbeing. The Kindness Test, which was carried out in 2021, involved more than 60,000 participants and also showed that carrying out kind acts had benefits for wellbeing. Whether you’re giving or receiving kindness, you’re likely to feel better

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