Mindfulness | Meditation | Mindfulness meditation | Self compassion | Resilience | Stress | Anxiety | kindness
Kindness is often described as being the opposite of stress.
In his book, The Little Book of Kindness, David Hamilton explains that while the feelings of stress produce stress hormones, the feelings of kindness produce kindness hormones. The kindness hormone triggers a lovely biological response called the helpers high, which is the perfect reward for being kind, and floods the body with the feel good hormone oxytocin. This is the warm and connected feeling we experience through kindness.
David Hamilton explains that the kindness gene is one of the oldest in the body which suggests that we are biologically wired to be kind and to connect with others in order to survive and thrive.
Oxytocin is also sometimes referred to as the cuddle or love hormone as more is produced when we hug and feel love.
Some of the benefits to the body include:
🌸Reduced blood pressure
🌸Protects the cardiovascular system
🌸Reduces oxidative stress which helps slow ageing
🌸Boosts the immune system
🌸Switches from the stress response into the rest and relaxation response (opposite to stress)
Kindness is better for our relationships and strengthens our support network. We tend to like people who are kind to us, and often reciprocate.
All these help us feel happier and can be an antidote to stress.
Research at Yale University has shown that people who carry out acts of kindness feel less stressed and experience less negative emotions. Kindness was shown to balance the negative impact of stress.
Research has also shown that regularly practising kindness actually reduces the stress region of the brain, and grows the kindness area. It’s also said to help reduce our feelings of fear. This is great for our own health and for those around us.