My latest studies ‘Hormone Health’ has once again taught me how wonderful and magical we humans are! All these wonderful facts and more I will share via Health4Me website and Instagram . It will be different topics that has caught my interest and my philosophy for Health4Me is sharing, I hope you will enjoy!
Kindness is more than a behaviour. The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy.
What it do
Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer. Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, which can directly impact loneliness, improve low mood and enhance relationships in general. It also can be contagious. Looking for ways to show kindness can give you a focus activity, especially if you tend to be anxious or stressed in some social situations.
What it do for our brain
Physiologically, kindness can positively change your brain. Being kind boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure/reward centers in your brain to light up. Endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer, also can be released. The last in line is Oxytocin which also is called the hug-drug and it is particularly active during childbirth where it stimulates contractions. One of its lesser-known, but equally important, functions is as a neurotransmitter that helps regulate stress responses and calm the nervous system.
All these chemicals are called the Happy Hormones and has a special role but all promote your mental well-being.
Chemical / Mood function
Serotonin = mood stabilizer, wellbeing, happiness
Dopamine = pleasure, motivational role in brain’s reward system
Oxytocin = Bonding, love, trust
Endorphins = Pain relief, runner’s high, relaxation
The happiness hormones are a reflection of your environment, relationships, compassion, diet, exercise regime, and, even in your gut microbes. Dopamine is a chemical reaction in your brain but 90% sits in your gut, so if you heard someone said ‘it feels good in my stomach’ or ‘my gut feeling says..’. That is because the good emotion is happening in your gut microbes!!!
It is not just exercise and diet, even if they play a very important role, that starts the process in our bodies to boost wellbeing. To be kind has the power to influence your mood by the choices you make every day.
Be kind to yourself
Important is not just how you treat other people — it is how you extend those same behaviors and intentions to yourself as well. You can be kinder in your own self-talk. We are good at verbally beating ourselves up, because this is how we once survived on the savannah – our brain are hardwired negative so we were prepared for danger to quickly fight or flight. The time has changed, but not our brain, dangers as such is not relevant for us anymore. A good rule; if you would not say it to your good neighbor, do not say it about yourself.
Simply asking "How am I going to practice kindness today?" This positive focus is like planting positive seeds in your mind garden.
Where focus goes, energy flows!
My KINDEST wishes
Bonus fun facts
Is compassion natural or learned?
Though economists have long argued the contrary, a growing body of evidence suggests that, at our core, both animals and human beings have that “compassionate instinct.” In other words, compassion is a natural and automatic response that has ensured our survival.
Makes us more attractive !
One more sign that suggests that compassion is an adaptively evolved trait is that it makes us more attractive to potential mates. A study examining the trait most highly valued in potential romantic partners suggests that both men and women agree that “kindness” is one of the most highly desirable traits.
How contagious is compassion?
Are negative emotions and behaviors more contagious than the positive and ones, as some think? Research says the answer is no. In fact, positive emotions and prosocial emotions are more contagious than any others. They spread much more rapidly and collectively than the negative.
Ballatt J, Campling P. Intelligent kindness: reforming the culture of healthcare. London: RCPsych Publications; 2011. [Google Scholar]
Gilbert P. The compassionate mind. London: Robinson; 2009. [Google Scholar]