Sunday, 14 March 2010
I've just read a fantastic article by Lucy Hunter in Spirit & Destiny magazine that really hit home. I'd like to share some of the key points with you on this blog since it's so relevant to the wave of kindness initiative.
There's lots of research showing that being kind to others is good for you. David R. Hamilton says, in his book, 'Why Kindness is Good For You' that 'kindness makes you happier...in fact, it can make us very happy indeed'. Studies in the US even show that depression can be improved by being kind to others.
Research done by author Allan Luks, 'The Healing Power of Doing Good' shows that people who help others suffer fewer bouts of colds and flu, fewer migraines, eat better and sleep better. Even the symptoms of asthma and lupus can be alleviated by helping others. 29% of helpers in the study even said they had more energy overall!
Psychiatrist Harold G. Koenig, author of 'Kindness And Joy' says, 'there's evidence that kindness creates changes in blood flow that could help lower blood pressure...being generous may also protect against stress hormones such as cortisol.'
Dasher Keltner, author of 'Born To Be Good' explains that the vagus nerve originates at the top of the spinal cord and some experts believe it reacts to kindness. The vagus nerve reduces our heart rate and new research shows it's closely connected to receptors for oxytocin, a neurotransmitter involved in trust, love, generosity and maternal bonding. People who have high vagus nerve activation in a resting state have been found in studies to be the most compassionate.'
People who volunteer get to help others and this research proves they get to help themselves to a better life in the process!