Many of you have read about and heard Amanda Salzhauer (co-author of The Kindness Advantage) and me discuss The Helper’s High, a term coined by Alan Lux). The Helper’s High refers to a flood of endorphins that occurs in a person doing a kind act that makes them feel good and encourages them to do another kind act.
Now, while we are home, we can be intentional about performing acts of kindness throughout the day. We can help others, offer words of encouragement, and do and say kind things.
We are all well aware that we are unable to hug the people we care about unless we are living together. So if you have people in your “orbit,” offering a gentle touch or a bear hug can give both people a flood of endorphins (the feel good hormones) AND will likely make them want to do more kind acts (or give more hugs). When we talk with someone on the phone or on ZOOM we can give a “conversational hug” by sharing with them something we have learned from them, why they inspire us, what we admire about them.
We can also “take a trip down memory lane” and recall a time when we were together. Perhaps we traveled, attended a concert, ate a unique meal, celebrated a holiday, climbed a mountain, or watched a sunset. Triggering these memories with someone can be an emotional tonic. Recalling positive past experiences with those we care about can reconnect us when we feel alone. Our brain chemistry changes in a positive and healthy way.
There are MANY health benefits to performing acts of kindness for ourselves and others during challenging times. And staying connected is one way to take care ourselves and others.
- Kindness is a natural stress buster.
- Kindness to ourselves can be a lifesaver.
- Find a breathing practice that works for you. A daily breathing practice can help you remain calm.
- Begin with quieting yourself and taking 3 deep breaths. Notice how your body feels. When your mind goes elsewhere, just welcome it back and focus on your breath.
- Focus on your breathe when you are in between activities or when you feel overwhelmed.
- A daily breathing practice can help you to develop & practice patience.
- If you feel angry, take 90 seconds to breathe & calm your physical reaction before you speak.