What's Love Got To Do With It? The Science Behind Kindness

Be kindWe are told from a very young age to be kind to others. That seems to be a good general rule for all humans. But did you know there are scientifically proven benefits of being kind?

Acts of kindness release chemicals in the brain that can contribute to improved mood and general well-being. "We all seek a path to happiness," says Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai. "Practicing kindness toward others is one we know works."

Cedars-Sinai.Org outline Dr. IsHak's findings. "Dr. IsHak says studies have linked random acts of kindness to releasing dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that can give us a feeling of euphoria. This feel-good brain chemical is credited with causing what's known as a 'helper's high'. In addition to boosting oxytocin and dopamine, being kind can also increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood."

Other Kindness Fun Facts:

  • Kindness is the highest form of intelligence. It is a state of being that is needed for others and for ourselves.
  • Kindness affects both our minds and hearts. Kindness to others and ourselves can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
  • Long term kindness can re-wire our brain towards positive outlooks and less negative self-talk. Additionally, those who demonstrate goodness report increased happiness, healthier hearts, slower aging, and better relationships.
  • Researchers indicate that kindness is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability. (Psychology Today)
  • Many universities are now emphasizing kindness on their admission applications.

Being kind has proven benefits for your mind and body. So let's take some action today!

Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas:

  • Smile at a stranger
  • Call an elderly person who may not have a lot of social interaction
  • Plant something
  • Send a thank you card to the volunteers at your fire department
  • Offer to walk your neighbor's dog
  • Buy extra school supplies for a teacher
  • Let someone know you appreciate their work
  • Lend a friend your favorite book
  • Pass some clothes along to a family in need
  • Put your phone down and... listen

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