Why Giving Is Good For You
Yours|Issue 311
Why Giving Is Good For You

Give a little kindness this Christmas and you’ll receive all sorts of surprising health benefits in return

Rebecca Speechley

The season of goodwill is upon us, giving us all the perfect excuse to show others a bit of extra kindness. When you do something for someone else, you get a lot more back than just a warm feeling. In fact, research shows that a little kindness and generosity could give you a huge psychological boost, making you happier and healthier than folk who are less generous.

“When we’re kind, there is a chemical ‘pay-off’ – we get bursts of the anxiety-reducing neurochemical oxytocin,” says stress transformation coach Jane Evans (www. thejaneevans.com). “This chemical makes us feel good and relaxed. As an added bonus we also get a dose of dopamine, the pleasure-seeking hormone which rewards us with a sense of wellbeing.”

Christmas is the ideal time to be kind, because so many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed by the extra pressure and commitments. “If you’re feeling anxious, then an act of kindness, such as holding a door open, helping someone get their buggy off the train or just smiling, can connect us to others,” says Jane.

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Issue 311