Looking around the world now, it can be hard to see through the pain and suffering you witness all around you. When survival is prominent in the minds of most people right now, thinking outside of yourself is a challenge.
Many people want nothing more than to escape the feelings of stress and worry permeating daily life, but there is a way. Science shows that kindness thoughts offer numerous health benefits. By thinking kind thoughts, you can actually improve your mental and physical health.
1. Ease Your Anxiety
Anxiety for many people is at an all-time high. There are numerous ways to lower anxiety, but one of the easiest is to engage in an act of kindness, or even just thinking kindness thoughts about others. It turns out that doing so has the immediate benefits of making a person feel better. There are long-term implications as well, as lower levels of anxiety correlate with better physical health.
2. Lower Your Stress
Like anxiety, stress can have negative impacts on physical health when experienced over time. Stress increases inflammation in the body, which is believed to be a factor in a number of diseases. When you engage in kindness, your body releases a chemical called Oxytocin. This substance reduces stress and inflammation, making you healthier while you also feel calmer.
3. Improve Your Heart Health
Oxytocin does more than induce good feelings and lower stress, it also has heart health benefits. Oxytocin increases nitric oxide in the blood, which then leads to lower blood pressure. The hormone is known as the “love hormone,” but it leads to positive changes to the vascular system that result in a better functioning heart as well as a loving one.
When anxiety and stress start to get the best of you, take a deep breath and think of kindness thoughts. Thinking good thoughts and doing something nice for others makes you feel less stressed and anxious, while also improving your heart’s health.