Yes, it sounds far fetched, but being kind to others can make you not only happier but also healthier. In this article I’ll explain how it affects brain chemistry that in turn affect your health. So bear with me and I’ll show you how to become healthier through kindness.
Ancient Wisdom Most of us have hear the axiom “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is also known as the Golden Rule. It has various forms, both positively and negatively worded and from various origins. The oldest recorded form dates to c.a. 500BC. So it is nothing new. What we have discovered recently is the impact it has.
When we are kind to others, what I like to refer to as “small random acts of human kindness”, we trigger the release of Oxytocin. Not only do we trigger it in ourselves but also in those that “receive” the act and those that observe it.
Brain Chemistry Magic Oxytocin is known as our connectedness or bonding brain chemical. It helps us feel closer to others and is involved in helping us build trust. It also helps us to feel that we belong and that we are part of our social grouping. Oxytocin is also believed to allow us to be more observant of social stimuli, which mean we pay more attention to people around us. Being able to pick up on social queue has been proven to improve team cohesion, collective intelligence and performance.
Ati-Stress Oxytocin also suppresses Cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that also have us crave carbohydrates. Cortisol is also present in high stress environments such as where team members are competitive instead of cooperative at work. It also lengthens wound healing, suppresses the immune system and impedes muscle recovery after sport. It is small wonder that when people are constantly under stress they also become ill.
Host of Health benefits Oxytocin helps to alleviate things such as food sensitivities, “stomach cramps” and even immune disorders that affect the gut. Oxytocin helps you to not only feel trust, love, sincerity and a heart-warming feeling of connectedness, it also helps your body to cope with stressful situations it can even help to reduce the chance of a heart attack or a stroke by reducing blood pressure.
It’s not mushy stuff, it is Science
As we now know the benefits of Oxytocin lets go get ourselves some. You don’t need an expensive pill or long term medical treatment. All you need is a little kindness.
I like Selina Gomez’s “Kill em with kindness”. It reminds me that no matter what, we can turn to kindness as a response. It never fails us. It always helps you and others and impacts our health. This week, try to do at least one random act of kindness or generosity per day. It does not have to be big it just has to be genuine.
Here is a YouTube video that could help you find inspiration: Lee and His Daughter did 39 in a day!
Here is a website with 101 ideas you can try.
To find out if Kindness is one of your Superpowers take the Superpowers Test and see if it is in your top 5: www.superpowers.info