The Top 5 Mental Health Benefits of Practicing Paying-it-Forward
Since March 2020, there have been countless days of isolation and barriers to overcome. One action adopted by numerous individuals is the pay-it-forward concept. A well-known example is: someone buys a coffee for the person behind him/her in line. This deed demonstrates human kindness and not only does it brighten one’s day, but it can also benefit the mental wellness of the receiver and the doer… yes, the DOER!
According to the School of Mental Health Ontario, the following are a few reasons why you should consider paying-it-forward as a self-serving booster.
1. Your brain’s chemicals change
When you help someone, there is a process that happens in your brain that releases serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin – the ‘feel-good’ chemicals. The reward center of your brain is kick-started and you get a rush of endorphins, making you feel happier!
2. Kindness builds on itself
It can actually become an instinct to respond to others in a helpful, kind and compassionate way.
3. It decreases stress
People who show kindness and concern for others had a 23% lower level of cortisol – the stress hormone – compared to the average population.
4. It changes how you view yourself
Random acts of kindness can also improve your feelings of self-esteem and self-worth. Some people also reported a stronger sense of meaning and purpose after acting out of compassion.
5. The good stuff starts immediately
This is not one of those things where you have to put in serious effort before you see results. Paying it forward can benefit you the second you act with compassion.
Why not do something great for yourself while showing kindness to another… it is definitely a win-win situation!
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