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What Kindness Does to Your Brain

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about what kindness does to your brain. So we've probably all witnessed how acts of kindness can spread and multiply. Right now, people are using the phrase, the kindness contagion to describe the wave of kindness that's been spreading throughout the world in the midst of these very difficult times that we're in. And it's true.

Kindness is contagious. Witnessing acts of kindness makes us more likely to do the same for others. And in fact, when we witness an act of kindness, our body and mind seem to interpret what we're seeing as if we're actually experiencing it ourselves. Now, when it comes to us giving kindness, doing kindness, kindness has been shown to increase our self-esteem as well as improving empathy and compassion. It's been shown to improve mood and decrease the stress hormone cortisol, thereby reducing stress levels.

And kindness, of course, tends to increase our sense of connection with others, which reduces loneliness and depression. Physiologically, kindness can lead to very real changes in the brain and the body. Kindness lowers our blood pressure. It boosts our serotonin and dopamine, the feel good hormones that give you a sense of contentment and wellbeing. And endorphins, which are your body's natural painkillers also can be released.

These are some of the reasons why the research shows that people who practice kindness regularly tend to be healthier and live longer. So looking for ways to show kindness can give your life a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection. Through doing it, we're also building better selves and better communities at the same time. So Greek storyteller Aesop once said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. So today, and for the rest of this week, I invite you to try this little challenge.

See if you can do one small kind thing each day for someone in your life and then be attentive to the effect it has on you. Does it brighten your mood? Do you feel more connected to others? Does it give your life a sense of meaning? So it's a beautiful thing to see that being kind to others is actually a kindness to ourselves. The more love and compassion we direct towards others, the more joy we end up giving to ourselves. As James Matthew Barry once said, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." So in today's meditation, we'll continue to cultivate kindness within ourselves. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

What Kindness Does to Your Brain

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about what kindness does to your brain. So we've probably all witnessed how acts of kindness can spread and multiply. Right now, people are using the phrase, the kindness contagion to describe the wave of kindness that's been spreading throughout the world in the midst of these very difficult times that we're in. And it's true.

Kindness is contagious. Witnessing acts of kindness makes us more likely to do the same for others. And in fact, when we witness an act of kindness, our body and mind seem to interpret what we're seeing as if we're actually experiencing it ourselves. Now, when it comes to us giving kindness, doing kindness, kindness has been shown to increase our self-esteem as well as improving empathy and compassion. It's been shown to improve mood and decrease the stress hormone cortisol, thereby reducing stress levels.

And kindness, of course, tends to increase our sense of connection with others, which reduces loneliness and depression. Physiologically, kindness can lead to very real changes in the brain and the body. Kindness lowers our blood pressure. It boosts our serotonin and dopamine, the feel good hormones that give you a sense of contentment and wellbeing. And endorphins, which are your body's natural painkillers also can be released.

These are some of the reasons why the research shows that people who practice kindness regularly tend to be healthier and live longer. So looking for ways to show kindness can give your life a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection. Through doing it, we're also building better selves and better communities at the same time. So Greek storyteller Aesop once said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. So today, and for the rest of this week, I invite you to try this little challenge.

See if you can do one small kind thing each day for someone in your life and then be attentive to the effect it has on you. Does it brighten your mood? Do you feel more connected to others? Does it give your life a sense of meaning? So it's a beautiful thing to see that being kind to others is actually a kindness to ourselves. The more love and compassion we direct towards others, the more joy we end up giving to ourselves. As James Matthew Barry once said, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." So in today's meditation, we'll continue to cultivate kindness within ourselves. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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