The health benefits of social connection are similar to those we receive from other healthy habits. It only takes a feeling of connection with just one person to increase our immune system function, reduce stress, enhance our sleep, and possibly, add years to our life (so don't feel bad if you only have 4 Facebook friends - it's not quantity but quality that matters). Research is now suggesting we would be healthier through practicing acts of altruism than eating our broccoli! In fact, one study found that it takes approximately five acts of altruism a week to improve your level of happiness significantly. A simple smile and "hello" to a stranger can have amazing results and goes a long way in our quest for a kinder and healthier community.
|Just holding the door for someone|
can produce some really cool health
benefits (even if they don't say
Are you wanting to make a difference but don't know where to start? Why not begin with one small good deed a week. I began buying the coffee for the person behind me in the Tim Horton's line up every Friday morning (the first time my heart was racing as I didn't want to be found out or have the guy behind me think I'm making googly eyes at him or something). It didn't take too long before I started searching out opportunities to practice my skills in "good deed doing". Even if I would have rather stared at the concrete or ignored others around me, the high I got for it (not unlike the feeling you get after a good workout) kept me motivated. I have to admit, like anything else, if you get out of the habit you can easily go back to old behaviours. If I missed a couple of weeks, it was hard to get back to it, but when I did I felt better for it.
|Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Tin Man recieve a heart because of his good deeds...or was it to do good deeds? At any rate, the relationship between heart health and kindess shouldn't go |
unnoticed. There is a strong relationship.