Could kindness be a magic elixir that makes us happier – and healthier?
Research suggests acts of kindness like donating money, volunteering and mentoring can boost the giver’s emotional health, but science also is studying how altruism improves physical health.
Acts of kindness can take many forms, especially amid Random Acts of Kindness Week from Feb. 13-19. It can be as simple as holding a door for someone, to a commitment like donating blood or starting a fundraiser. (The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has many ideas to get you going.)
When asked the question: “Do you take care of yourself?” most of us will answer yes — we’d even think, “What kind of question is this? Of course I care about myself.”
When asked, “In what ways do you take care of yourself?” — well, that’s where the tricky part begins.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Although it’s a simple idea in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also keep to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What isn’t self-care?
Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. As Agnes Wainman defined, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes…