Have you recently been touched by or given a random act of kindness? Didn’t it feel good? There’s a reason for that, doing genuinely nice things for others can make you feel more positive, not to mention making someone else’s day.
There has been continuous research over the years that link sympathetic and empathetic feelings to improved personal mood. When inner feelings of depression set in, it can be difficult to be nice to yourself and even more difficult to give joy to others. But, what we are seeing is that doing something as simple as holding a door or complimenting a piece of clothing can brighten someone’s day while helping you. Maybe that person was self-conscious about that shirt and now they wear it with pride. Because of you, that person is a little less stressed, more confident, and just a little bit happier. This should most definitely make you feel the same.
One of the most beautiful aspects of random acts of kindness is that they often get passed around and people start to pay it forward. I like to think of it as a deposit in the karma bank, it doesn’t cost a penny but is priceless. It may seem oversimplified but that is often the correct answer.
Mental Health Benefits
Sense of Purpose
It feels good to feel good and we can’t do it alone. However, continuously striving for happiness will not go unnoticed by those around you and you’ll start to reap the benefits. Benefits such as a sense of purpose. Often depressed individuals will feel worthless and doing things for others gives a place of belonging. This broadens friend and associate groups which will only further enrich your life. Being wealthy in good friends and family are riches not to be taken granted of.
It has been hypothesized that doing good deeds for others can lead to a longer and more full life. With reduced amounts of stress and a life packed with good days, the body will be happy to stick around longer. Furthermore, when you get into the habit of helping others you tend to try different things and do more for yourself. Try that new class or hobby with a new person, only experience will come with it.
Increased Brain Activity
Volunteering and generosity have long been linked to an increase in mood. In brain scans, acts of generosity ignite the same reward centers that money and sex fire. We are wired to want to make others happy and rewarded for it by stimulating neural change.
Let Us Help You
If you are struggling with depression and can’t find a solution give our staff a call at 847-236-9310 or fill out our contact form. Our world-class team will work to find a solution that suits you. Go help someone today!