Being nice to our fellow human beings doesn’t only benefit the recipient; it can also boost our immune system, reduce stress and increase well-being hormones.
World Kindness Day, 13th November is now also Close the GAP day (Give Appreciate Participate) and was set up by Dr Barbara Mariposa who came up with the concept after suffering depression. There are simple ways to practice being nice to people suggests a flier about the day; “pay someone a compliment”, “smile at someone on public transport”, or “buy someone lunch”.
Dr Mariposa comments: “Close the GAP day is about our ability to determine our own health through our actions. Just like when you go running, endorphins like serotonin are released when you are generous and kind and put your attention on the needs of the other person. It’s like jogging for the soul really”. A senior researcher at the Mental Health Foundation further comments: “Being nice to people opens up more positive interactions for the individual. It helps us to become more integrated socially with other and helps adjust to our environment and become more of an active participant in it”.
The government is working to improve the UK’s mental health as it is the highest cause of disability and the treatment of depression alone costs in the region of £22bn a year.