If you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted right now, you’re in good company. 2020 has certainly delivered some huge moments that have challenged us all, perhaps in different ways. We’ve seen everything from bushfires, social justice campaigns and a global pandemic, looking inward and feeling like it’s ‘all too much’ would be understandable. Interestingly, when we shift that focus outward and put our energy into helping others, we benefit too. Studies have shown it’s in our nature to engage, to support and be kind, and when we do, it’s hugely beneficial emotionally and physiologically.
When we’re socially engaged and supporting something we value, we’re activating a part of our psyche that demonstrates we care about something, and we’re willing to act. Very simply put, we’re acknowledging something outside of ourselves for the benefit of others – we’re being kind. In fact, scientists have worked out that the kinder we are, the healthier we are. Our oxytocin and serotonin levels increase, making us more optimistic, increasing our self-esteem as making us feel happy. We have more energy, less aches and pains, and we’re calmer. Our cortisol levels are lower making us less stressed, anxiety and depression can decrease, and that oxytocin increase could even lower our blood pressure. When we take control of our actions and behaviour and look outwardly, and act with kindness, there are benefits for everyone involved.
With our increasingly virtual working life, employers are looking for ways to keep their staff connected, at the same time acknowledging that working from home has made the work/life balance a major challenge. Tapping into this sentiment of positivity and kindness provides a way for corporates to support their employees, and the communities and causes they care about. Corporates who actively support charitable giving create a new employee conversation, one that supports the values of the individual, and in turn making employees more engaged, loyal and committed, and great advocates too.
Of course, the most crucial part is the recipient of this engagement, charities. With financial support charities can continue to provide support and services to those in need. And when we come together to provide that support, to demonstrate kindness, we are all much better for the experience.