Time for Kids: Teaching kids acts of kindness

MADISON, Wis. — It feels good to share love and gratitude with others, but there’s more to it than that — it can actually be physically good for the heart.

SSM Health pediatric cardiologist Andrea Rock says acts of love and kindness could be the positive energy we’ve all been looking for.

“It raises your oxytocin levels, it gives you endorphins. It lowers your cortisol, which is a stress hormone,” Dr. Rock says.

It doesn’t have to be a big task, either.

“It physiologically relaxes you to do something kind, and it doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars to charity. It’s looking somebody in the eye and saying thank you at the grocery store, or it’s when somebody you love made some mistake and you decide to just let it go. That helps your heart health. It helps your spiritual health. I can’t say enough about it,” Dr. Rock says.

Incorporating acts of kindness into your daily routine is good for your kids, too.

That can be done by modeling kind behaviors such as smiling at others, holding the door for strangers, or shoveling snow for elderly neighbors. Dr. Rock says by teaching those things to your kids, it will leave you both feeling better as you go through the day.

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