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How Acts of Kindness Can Lower Your Stress

Stress can often present physical effects on the body, making lowering stress a top priority for many Americans looking to take better care of their health and wellness.

How Stress Negatively Impacts Your Health

High levels or even chronic stress can lead to a plethora of other issues and disorders:

  • Anxiety – high levels of stress can induce anxious feelings, making it difficult to cope with the trigger;
  • Restlessness – people often cannot concentrate or rest when they experience high levels of stress, which can sometimes even lead to sleep disorders;
  • Lack of focus/motivation – stress take the center stage of your attention, meaning people often cannot find the strength to focus or become highly unmotivated;
  • Feeling overwhelmed – if the person cannot see a solution or a way out, stress can often lead to feeling a sense of despair or overwhelmed;
  • Irritability – stress can make you frustrated, impatiens, and highly irritated;
  • Sadness/depression – often, chronic stress makes people more at risk of developing depression as they cannot find ways to cope

How Acts of Kindness Impact Your Health

Lowering stress through acts of kindness can be achieved thanks to a few responses the body has during these moments:

  1. Increases energy

People experience a sense of pleasure and increased energy after they display kindness, which can help lower stress levels.

  1. Increases happiness

Helping others can genuinely bring you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

  1. Increases serotonin levels

Serotonin is a hormone that can help stabilize your mood and promote feelings of wellbeing. It’s been shown that serotonin levels increase after acts of kindness.

  1. Decreases cortisol

Cortisol is the ‘stress hormone’, and acts of kindness can reduce your body’s production of it by as much as 23%.

  1. Decreases depression

Lower cortisol and more serotonin can help balance your mood, making it less likely to express depression.

  1. Decreases blood pressure

Acts of kindness can dilate the blood vessels, which has a direct beneficial impact on your blood pressure.

  1. Decreases anxiety

Improving your mood through kindness also decreases anxiety levels on a day-to-day basis.

Ideas for Acts of Kindness

Here’s how you could lower your stress through kindness:

  1. Give compliments

People love receiving compliments, and they can help you improve your mood.

  1. Buy a meal for someone in need

Being charitable is a direct act of kindness that can help both you and someone else in need.

  1. Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line

It sounds simple, but it could greatly improve another person’s day!

  1. Pay for someone’s coffee

The next time you’re out with friends for a coffee, offer to pay the bill. Their smiles will greatly improve your mood!

  1. Offer to return a stranger’s cart to the front of the store

It’s a hassle-free way to help someone out and reduce your stress.

  1. Donate flowers to a nursing home

Make someone else’s life a bit more colorful, and yours a bit less stressful as a result.

  1. Pass along a compliment to a service worker’s manager

Take praising a service worker one step further by making sure their managers know how good of a job they’re doing.

  1. Take the time to write a great review for a restaurant you enjoy

Restaurants rely on reviews to get more customers, so offer your help by writing a stellar review.

  1. Smile!

Studies have found the smiles can help you recover from stress and reduce heart rates.

Reach Out to Us Today

If lowering your stress requires a professional touch, denova Healthcare can help.

Contact us today to find out more.

Choose Recovery Over Addiction

We’re here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.

Amanda Keenhold, LAC

Licensed Associate Counselor

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