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  • Dr. Neal Nybo

Three ways our acts of kindness make our lives better


We usually associate kindness with wanting to make a difference in other people's lives. Still it doesn't hurt to know that our kindness helps us as well. In an article entitled Time to be kind: why kindness matters, author Gavin Haines describes one person's practice of being kind every day for a year. during that year, there were some lessons learned including three ways our acts of kindness improve our lives.

Three ways our acts of kindness make our lives better.

Kindness makes us happier

“We found that helping does seem to have a causal effect on happiness,” says Dr Oliver Scott Curry, senior researcher at the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology.

Other studies link kindness with improved physical health. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in the US connect altruism with increased activity in the vagus nerve, which helps the body fight di Evidence suggests that improved mood is a common side-effect of being kind. Various studies attribute altruism with releasing endorphins in the ‘reward’ part of our brains. Experts at Oxford University carried out a meta-analysis of such research last year and lent their support to the idea that altruism gives us a mental boost.

Kindness makes us healthier

Other studies link kindness with improved physical health. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in the US connect altruism with increased activity in the vagus nerve, which helps the body fight diabetes and heart disease.

Kindness de-escalates our tension

The Gottman school of thought posits that kindness shown during conflict leads to a de-escalation of tensions and a more satisfactory outcome for all parties. “You will not get people to accept your influence if you do not show kindness,” says Stoyanowski. “As soon as we’re tearing each other apart and going for the throat, no one ever changes their mind.”

We may as well be kinder!


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nealnybo@nealnybo.com / San Diego / California

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