Did you know that the effects of deliberately, consciously being kind are not just emotional, but also physical?
Kindness releases pain-killing chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin – being kind literally makes you feel better. Even witnessing an act of kindness can release “feel good” hormones in the brain, triggering a desire in the witness to spread the kindness further, something known as the ripple effect.
The act of being kind can help us feel stronger and improves our self-esteem. We feel more connected with other people – a greater sense of belonging and fewer feelings of isolation and alienation.
Being kind also boosts our immune systems and reduces stress levels. Being less stressed means that aches, pains and illnesses are diminished, which in turn helps to reduce our stress levels.
It is said that an act of kindness is also an act of courage: leaving ourselves open to receive kindness, or opening ourselves up to giving kindness, can leave us vulnerable. But once you have taken that step and embraced the cycle of kindness, you will have a lifetime supply of the gift that keeps on giving.
An act of kindness doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can be something as simple as holding open a door, listening to someone who has had a bad day, or letting someone who wants to be helpful help you.
It can also be something braver: volunteering or undertaking an activity for charity. Here at Home-Start, we are very lucky to have some very kind supporters: people who are preparing to do brave things on our behalf.
This week we have been bowled over by the kindness shown to Home-Start by Sophie, an incredible young woman, who has taken on a very brave challenge to help raise vital funds for our scheme!
Sophie is a singer/songwriter who lives in the HSRBSC area. She says that shaving her head for charity has been on her bucket list for such a long time.
On 15th May, Sophie (assisted by various members of her family) shaved off her shoulder-length hair to raise money in support of Home-Start.
She says “I started hearing about Home-Start from my mum and then more and more from other friends and family members and everyone praised the work they do.”
Sophie’s Virgin Money Giving page has attracted more than £1,000 in donations. She says: “I’m really chuffed with how generous everyone has been.”
You can watch Sophie’s incredible act of kindness (and bravery!) here:
From all the Home-Start team, we would like to acknowledge Sophie for being so brave and kind enough to think of others at such a challenging time.