Want to Be Happier, Healthier and More Physically Attractive? Be Kind.
Kindness is a concept that we know and love, but one that we don’t often sit back and reflect on. How are we demonstrating kindness in our everyday life? What impact is it having? How can we develop greater compassion?
When I think about the times that I have demonstrated kindness in my life, it becomes very clear that the impact has been just as beneficial – if not more – for me as the giver as it was for the receiver.
Kindness is in our nature, but sometimes in the business and craziness of everyday life, it is forced to take a back seat as we struggle to find time to eat lunch let alone check-in on a friend or volunteer at a local shelter. Beyond just being an admirable character strength, kindness is incredibly good for our well-being, and if we can go out of our way to find an organic cafe or make time to go to the gym, then I’m sure we can find time to be kind. And let’s be honest… it really doesn’t take much time! Compliment a stranger, smile at the bus driver, carry an elderly lady’s groceries when she’s crossing the road. Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes the biggest impact can come from the smallest gestures.
How do you demonstrate kindness in your everyday life? Truly think about it. Just like brushing our teeth or driving a car, kindness becomes a habit that we can nurture and develop. And as you do, you might start to notice these five things happen:
You feel happier
Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin in our brains (the same chemical targeted by anti-depressants) and helps us calm down and feel happy. The best part is that this is true for the giver, the receiver and everyone who witnesses it. Beyond serotonin, kindness also releases endorphins which is the same chemical released when we eat a delicious block of chocolate. So next time you’re reaching for a snickers, do something kind instead
You feel healthier
Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin (also know as the “cuddle hormone” which plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system. Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide in blood vessels which makes them dilate which reduces blood pressure. Oxytocin also makes you feel calm, generous, trusting and strengthen’s the immune system!
You becomes more attractive
A new study by Yan Zhang and colleagues assigned participants to three groups and had them rate 60 photographs of unfamiliar female faces, all with neutral expressions. There was no significant difference in rating among the three groups. After two weeks, the participants rated the same pictures again, but this time one group of participants were given positive personality descriptors of the people in the photographs, another group was given negative descriptors, and the third was given no information at all. The group that had been given the positive personality descriptors rated the photographs as more attractive and those that had been given …read more
Source: Steven Aitchison