31 Jul The Chemistry of Kindness
On our Bunyip Tree social media, we thought 2020 needed some positivity so we have been focusing on some of our favourite character traits that we can all use right now! This month Roopert and Amelia have been encouraging us to ‘Be Kind’. So we thought we’d look into it a little more. Many of us were taught about kindness as kids, but did you know that being kind has immediate benefits? An instant karma feedback loop. It is all about that feel-good rush you get after you have been kind.
This feel-good rush or warm glow is your body releasing endorphins.
In 2018, the University of Sussex looked at brain scans from over a thousand participants who were making kind decisions and discovered that the warm glow effect is greater when the kindness act was altruistic.
“We found that there’s a part of the brain that is even more active when we give away with no possible benefits for ourselves,” says Jo Cutler, a PhD student who co-authored the study.
So for maximum endorphins practice altruistic kindness.
But we also discovered kindness isn’t just for others!
Dr Kirby, senior lecturer in clinical psychology at UQ stresses that being kind to ourselves is just as important and can have the same benefits as altruistic kindness. It all comes down to your self-talk. If you have an inner voice that is judgemental or constantly negative, then that inner tone can impact your physiology.
So, take on that inner voice, and when you find yourself in an old pattern of negative self-talk, stop, reset, and teach yourself a new script!
As the world struggles to cope with the results of a global pandemic, being kind is one thing we can do, both to others and ourselves, to help get us all through. So why not stop right now and text a compliment, say hello to the person at the checkout, or pay a coffee forward. Release those endorphins!