Michael Sterling

Need to Reduce Stress? Try Kindness!


I recently saw a non-profit organization asking for people to carry holiday kindness on throughout the year. It was a sad reminder how quickly the spirit of the holiday season turns into the stress of getting “back-to-business.” Truth is, if you need to reduce stress – try kindness!


To some, it may sound cheesy. However, medical research shows proven benefits of kindness. Humans are genetically wired for kindness. Being kind changes the biochemistry of our body. Kindness increases the oxytocin hormone. Oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”, increases bonding and empathy. It also decreases anxiety and reduces stress.


Kindness results in the opposite of stress. Kindness eases the pulmonary system – the heart doesn’t need to pump as hard. Blood pressure lowers and we feel more relaxed.


Kindness and Tax Season


Working directly with Public Accountants, I know the stress of tax season. Busy season brings long hours and little sleep. Weekdays and weekends blur and become one.


Using research, simple acts of kindness can reduce stress and boost health. For example:


  • Smile. Research shows smiling is contagious and alters mood.
  • Lend a colleague a hand.
  • Compliment a co-worker on a job well-done.
  • Bring snacks to the office to share or order lunch for the team.
  • Hold a daily, 15-minute team break to meditate, share some jokes or listen to music. Consider making the time each day random – a ‘pop-up’ break – to add an even greater element of fun.


With Busy Season closing in – add some acts of kindness into your routine. Let’s make kindness a habit – something we do year-round.


Let me know what acts of kindness your office incorporates into work life.


SterlingFreeman provides career coaching and recruiting exclusively for Public Accountants. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Interested in more career nutrition? Check out the Career Wellness section of the SterlingFreeman website.


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