When the words “be healthier” come up, we often think about eating better, doing more exercise, meditating, etc. But there is a way of being healthier that directly relates to how we treat others. Let’s explore:

The regions of the brain that light up when we are kind to someone are the same ones that light up when we receive a gift from someone – giving more biological weight to the phrase, “the gift of giving”. Moreover, your kindness doesn’t just help its recipient, but is also beneficial to you and your mental and physical health. “How?” you may ask. 

Well, when we give society its recommended daily dose of prescription hugs, side effects include reduced fear, anxiety and stress with increased feelings of trust, calm, safety and connectedness due to the release of oxytocin from our brains. Not only that but, biologically, it improves our digestion, reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure and improves healing. 

These positive by-products can have an overarching ripple effect on our lives in general. Studies show that people who volunteer often see an increase in happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over life.

With that being said, go out there and look after yourself by looking after others. Whether you volunteer somewhere, donate clothes, food, money or blood. The more acts of kindness you perform, the more you benefit. Here’s Botlhale Tshetlo’s kindness journey and how it benefitted her: