Get A Helper's High!

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Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.
— Eric Hoffer
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Back in my marathon training days, people would often say to me “you must love that Runner’s High!” To which I would usually reply by giving a thumbs up or a “you know it!”  and proceed about my business. I was familiar with this euphoric sensation and would sometimes feel it during or after a run. Most days I would hope for it to pop up to carry me the last few miles but such things never work on cue.  This ‘high’ feeling could be achieved through most forms of exercise (including yoga!) but for some reason running has cornered the market.

But now, there is growing evidence of a Helper's High which is described as a euphoric feeling, followed by a longer period of calm, experienced after performing a kind act. The physical sensation results from the release of endorphins, and is followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being and sense of self-worth, feelings that in turn reduce stress and improve the health of the helper.

This is some good stuff!  Performing a kind act actually releases endorphins and gives a euphoric sensation similar to a Runner’s High, so technically you could just do a bunch and not step foot in a gym... score!  But seriously, this isn’t really big news to me because I’ve been feeling this high for months since starting Random Act of Kindness Wednesdays.

I would argue that this euphoria starts before the act because of the anticipation and planning involved in trying to make a stranger’s day special.  And then after you’ve done it, you feel amazing the entire day. What better pick me up and/or ‘high’ then to be someone’s mini super-hero for a day?  We’ll call ourselves the Kindness Crusaders {I’ll work on the costumes}.

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For this Wednesday’s Random Act of Kindness,  I bought coffee for people behind me in the drive-thru at Starbucks.  The cashier was totally on board with my plan and even gave me a discount since I was buying for two cars {kindness begets kindness!}. After handing him the kindness cards to pass along to the recipients, I drove away with my Tall Passion Unsweetened Tea totally feeling a Helper’s High. 

I always wonder what random acts people will do with the kindness cards they receive.  I’m a firm believer that a little kindness goes a long way and I’m grateful to do my small part in encouraging it. 

Now it’s your turn to get high.  OM the moment for your soul and do a random act of kindness today.  If you need inspiration, hop over to the search bar on this blog and type in “kind.”

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