Life changing information about the healthiest way to look young, live longer and feel happier harnessing the 5 side effects of kindness.
The 5 side effects of Kindness
- Kindness is cardio protective and anti inflammatory
- Kindness will slow down the aging process
- Kindness increases happiness in you and others
- Kindness is good for relationships
- Kindness is contagious
Kindness is cardio protective and anti-inflammatory
In our blood vessels we have molecules of kindness known as Oxytocin and Nitrous Oxide. We are genetically wired to be kind. When we are kind or experience kindness we squirt these molecules into our blood vessels. This widens them, allowing more blood to flow more freely, reducing blood pressure. These molecules also dissolve the ‘crap’ sticking to the walls of the arteries such as bad cholesterol and other effects from stress, bad diet or lifestyle. Oxytocin is integrated into many processes in the body including the development and health of heart cells, veins and arteries. Being kind to others or even just listening and showing empathy is good for your heart! We now know how kindness molecules help the heart muscle to regenerate.
David R. Hamilton Ph.D. the author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness studied the science of kindness for a number of years but became particularly interested in 2009 when research in Tibet measured chemical inflammatory substances that that cause inflammation in a group of Tibetan monks who did a daily loving and kindness meditation. Inflammatory chemical substances were measured before and after the meditation. It was found that there was a significant drop in the chemical substances that cause inflammation and that these results were comparable to results gained using pharmaceutical anti- inflammatory drugs. David is astounded by this finding. When he was working in the pharmaceutical industry they had spent a quarter of a billion dollars creating a drug that that resulted in comparable drops in inflammation to doing a 6 week meditation practice for 15 minutes per day. Inflammation is one of the processes of aging, so if kindness reduces inflammation it is therefore also anti-aging.
Kindness is anti-aging
Kind people look younger as they have better skin and fewer wrinkles. Molecules of kindness are delivered to skin cells by blood vessels and have an anti oxidation effect on free radicals that cause aging and wrinkles. The skin of a compassionate kind person ages more slowly that that of a hostile aggressive person.
On the end of our DNA we have Telomeres that are like protective end caps. Biological age can be determined by the state and length of our Teleomeres. Research has shown that a stressful environment can cause a wearing away and shortening of telomeres on our genes, resulting in cell death and aging. Research has also shown that people living in a kind nurturing environment over a period of time have no shortening of telomeres. A kind environment halted the aging of DNA and even alleviates depression and improves relationships.
Research has shown that people feel less depressed if people are kind to them. An act of kindness releases oxytocin and promotes physical and emotional wellbeing in both the person being kind and the person receiving the kindness. Studies have shown that when people who are acting out or are depressed are treated with kindness there is a change in their behavior and emotional healing leading to more happiness and wellbeing
The Ripple Effect – Kindness is contagious
The kinder the world we are in, the kinder we want to be. When you experience kindness you are more likely to be kind to others. Every time you show kindness you create a ripple effect. Over time, kindness chips away at reasons not to be kind. One study of children who were shown a video illustrating kindness, found that they were much more likely to exhibit kind and helpful behaviour afterwards, than another group of children who were not shown the video. When someone dropped something they were more likely to help.
In Britain a Kidney donor chain was created by someone who donated a kidney anonymously to a hospital and spread the word about what they had done inviting others to do the same. In 3 months, 28 people received a kidney from one anonymous donor. Harvard scientists say that 50 to 100 people may benefit from a single act of kindness.
Another study found that it is almost physically impossible not to smile back at someone who smiles at you. Your Zygomaticus or ‘smiling’ muscle will at least twitch involuntarily even if you don’t realize it. You can’t stop yourself!
Take the challenge!
Experience the benefits of kindness by undertaking a ‘Kindness challenge’! For seven days in a row you must do at least one different act of kindness towards someone, an animal or a thing like caring for the environment. Help someone, acknowledge or thank someone, walk a rescue dog or clean up a beach or park. Push yourself out of your comfort zone for the best results. The bigger the difference you make the more amazing you will feel. Even better do the challenge for 21 days! And there is nothing wrong with planning your acts of kindness. Make someone’s day and see and feel the benefits.
Most importantly be kind to yourself
Some of us forget or feel guilty about being kind to ourselves. We need to balance kindness to others with kindness to ourselves. We can be kind to ourselves not instead of being kind to others but as well as. When we practice self love and take care of our own needs we recharge our batteries and have more energy. We are much more useful to others as we have much more to give.
Over 2 weeks in May, I was thankful for the opportunity to listen to some inspiring speakers on the 2017 Hay House Summit. The summit is a free, annual online event where you can access over 100 audio conversations with world famous experts on topics such as health, Spirituality, self-empowerment, relationships and prosperity. If you haven’t accessed it before I would highly recommend it.
I loved many of the conversations but my favourite was the one with David R. Hamilton Ph.D. the author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness. He offers advice on how just being kind and helping others can improve your health and the health of others. He explains research on the physiological effects of kindness on our body and mind and how it actually slows aging, protects the heart and improves relationships. David is a highly qualified Pharmacist who amongst other things has previously worked in a laboratory developing pharmaceutical, anti- inflammatory drugs.
Create a kindness ripple effect and share this blog with as many people as you can!!
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