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Kindness: A Key to Longevity

Two children sitting on a log in a park.

“The key to our success is not the survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the friendliest.”

That quote from Jamil Zaki, neuroscientist and associate psychology professor at Stanford, could not express it any better.

At 106, Betty Lowe is definitely a survivor and still going strong. She volunteers at a local hospital in Greater Manchester, UK (and has been for years!). She absolutely believes that doing good for others is what has kept her healthy, according to a recent story by the BBC.

It probably comes as no surprise that being kind is not only good for others, but it’s also good for ourselves. It produces a wealth of physical and emotional benefits. In fact, it can also extend our longevity.

Kindness can have a more beneficial impact on your health than exercising. We’re not saying ditch the Peloton bike, but kindness improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. It has also been shown to lower depression and loneliness. It’s equivalent to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables. And here’s a fun fact, according to one study, it makes you perceived as more attractive!

Kindness is truly the gift that keeps giving. The benefits can be felt long after the actual acts of generosity. It turns out that remembering past kind or charitable acts can bring about the same benefits. So even for those who may not be in a position to directly help others today, they can still reap the benefits.

COVID-19 has caused an increase in isolation, fear, and even loss, but it has also precipitated an increase in kindness. It has always been there, but during a crisis, it tends to draw out the good in people. Charitable donations and volunteerism reached record levels in 2020.

“Humans are extremely social, we have better health when we are interconnected, and part of being interconnected is giving,” says Tristen Inagaku, neuroscientist at San Diego State University.

That is the foundation of Naborforce. We know how important connections are. We witness it all time.  We know our clients greatly appreciate the assistance and companionship our Nabors provide, but we also know that the Nabors themselves get every bit as much out of the connections. As Nabor Mamie said, “Not only I am spreading joy and happiness to other people, it has also brought me joy and happiness. Being a Nabor allows me to give back – but it gives me back just as much.”

We are just a small part of the community ecosystem. Let’s all spread joy and kindness. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Smile, say hello, offer a friendly hand or phone call. Even the smallest random acts can make a big difference in someone’s life – including yours!

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