We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas or a wonderful week however you've spent your time. Last week was our last proper healthy habit of the year, lend a hand.
There's a lot to be said about helping others and how it adds to your health and wellbeing. We spoke about it a bit last year in our happy hormone post, and in our acts of kindness post from an earlier healthy habit. Essentially by being kind to others we get a little oxytocin boost, and it's not only felt by ourselves, it's felt by the receiving party and by people watching the act. And the more you do these things the happier and more generous you become. Oxytocin boosts our immune systems, and inhibits addictions, meaning there are physical health benefits from being a nice person.
Having a healthier immune system and better social relationships which means we are living longer through acts of kindness. Lending a hand and being kind to someone also is contagious, not only do people seeing or receiving these acts feel the oxytocin release, that element of feeling good means they will be more inspired to do these acts themselves, causing a ripple effect of goodness.
Helping others also gives us a positive sense of self, as well as feelings of purpose and satisfaction. Our bodies can benefit from lowered blood pressure and our brains also benefit from reduced stress and greater reward-related activity. So what better week to give this a go than Christmas week when family stress is up and being generous is something at the forefront of the mind.
HOW DID IT GO?
It went okay I think. I helped my mum with the Christmas preparations and tried to lighten the load of responsibilities planning shopping, or preparing food and decorating the house. It was nice to feel the accomplishment of completing these things but also much nicer to just spend some quality time with my mum and help her out a bit. Something that should be encouraged all year round.
Image by Saskia Pomeroy