Kindness is good for you
Kindness is good for you
“The research clearly shows that acts of kindness can help improve emotional wellbeing. This is true whether we are giving or receiving it” Mental Health Awareness Week
Kindness is intimately connected to the part of the nervous system that calms you down (parasympathetic nervous system). The more active the parasympathetic nervous system, the quieter you feel.
Being kind, therefore, makes you calm and grounded.
That’s due to the oxytocin, the love hormone. When you are kind to someone or someone extends kindness to you, your body produces oxytocin.
So, what does Oxytocin do?
Oxytocin is anti-aging and cardio protective (protects the heart).
Oxytocin dialates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which gives its cardio protective effect. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
The Dalai Lama challenged neuroscientist Richard Davidson
“He challenged me, saying, ‘You’ve been using the tools of modern neuroscience to mostly study anxiety, depression and fear, all these negative feelings. Why can’t you use these same tools to study qualities like kindness and compassion and equanimity?’ And I didn’t have a very good answer for him,” Davidson said. “It was a total wake-up call for me and really was a pivotal catalyst.”
Davidson took on the challenge and flew some Buddhist monks from Tibet into his lab, strapped electrodes to their heads, asked them to meditate and put them into a MRI scanner.
The results where draw dropping.
“What we saw in these individuals, not a burst of gamma, but a long duration [of activity] for minutes while they were meditating, which is crazy,” Davidson said. “This had never been seen in a human brain before.” Typically in an “untrained mind,” Davidson said, a burst of activity would last for about one second, but the monks could sustain it.
The monks showed to have permanently changed their brains to be more empathetic through their many years of meditation. Meditation therefore encourages empathy and kindness.
Give to yourself first
In order to be kind to others, it has to start with the self. Becoming a little selfish will make you more selfless. Over time, running on empty will start to cause health issues.
Making sure you’re getting enough rest is vital for just about everything. Sleep affects every single function of the body, and lack of sleep longterm can actually kill you according to neuroscientist Matt Walker.
Sleepolology® is designed to give you the tools to resource yourself so that you are rested enough to be effective in the world.
Imaging how you feel when you’re rested, calm and grounded…that’s a real force for good.
Loving Kindness Meditation
I’ve recorded a meditation for you from the Buddhist tradition (Metta Meditation)