With just one small act of kindness we can make this world a much better place! In this episode David and Amrit dive deep into the importance of being kind to become the best version of ourselves as well as better humans, and all the amazing benefits of kindness.
David R. Hamilton, PhD is a kindness scientist, columnist, speaker and author of eleven books, including his latest bestseller, ‘The Five Side Effects of Kindness’.
After completing his PhD in organic chemistry, he worked in R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Inspired by the placebo effect, he left the industry to write books and educate people on how they can harness their mind and emotions to improve their mental and physical health.
We all have kindness genes and they are some of the oldest genes in the human genome. We’re genetically wired to love and compassion but we are also wired to self preservation. Our nervous system perceives challenges as threats to our survival. So we end up covering our kindness because we feel we need to survive.
“You can be presenting clouds and storm fronts but when you pull through them, there is always sunshine”
The skill is to recognize the sunshine underneath any kind of challenge. Change requires a conscious effort to recognize the way you behave and how you have to behave instead. Slowing down and becoming aware of yourself is the first step to change. And then having an interaction with your body’s kindness hormones. Kindness opportunities bring out the best version of yourself.
In every act of kindness, you must include yourself and recognize that this moment of exchange is vital for the evolution and the present moment of both parts.
Kindness has tons of beneficial effects but you can’t have them unless you are genuine and mean what you do. It impacts physical and mental health, and not only makes us happier but is also protective for our mental health against challenges that occur in life.
Acts of kindness affect our brain chemistry producing more “happiness hormones” which facilitate happier experiences. Acts of kindness cause physical changes in the brain structure known as neural plasticity. This allows us to extract happiness from everyday life easier.
The physiological effects of kindness and stress are due to the way you feel. Kindness generates the opposite effects of stress. When kindness hormones go up, stress hormones go down.
Kindness and feeling good produces the happy hormone oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. This is an important role in the cardiovascular system. This hormone generates the release of a chemical in blood vessels, expanding them and reducing blood pressure. Oxytocin protects the heart, so acts of kindness are then cardioprotective.
Stress hormones age us and there are different ways that kindness hormones counteract the aging effects of stress. We take longer to age because we produce antioxidants and one of the major antioxidants in the body is the kindness hormone.
Kindness builds connections, improves relationships, and is highly contagious. Kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and so we feel more ‘bonded’. The best way to deepen a connection is being vulnerable, truly being yourself and not getting the other person to like you. You were born with kindness, love and compassion to show up as yourself and connect in this way.
When we are kind we inspire others to be kind too. Research proves that an act of kindness spreads out through 3 social steps. This means that when you help somebody, that person then helps other people, and these people, in turn help other people too. David calls it the ‘3-Degree Ripple Rule’.
“Be kind. You can make a difference in more people’s lives than you think”
David Hamilton Books:
- The Five Side-effects of Kindness: https://amz.run/541y
- Why Woo-Woo Works: https://amz.run/541z
- I Heart Me: https://amz.run/546j
- Welcome David Hamilton to Inspired Evolution!: (00:00:00)
- The science that supports kindness: (01:09)
- Why is it so difficult to embrace kindness when it is innate to us: (03:45)
- Self kindness to facilitate kindness with others: (13:45)
- Kindness makes us happier: (17:00)
- Kindness is good for the heart: (20:00)
- Factors that slow down ageing: (24:36)
- Kindness builds connection; digital world vs face-to-face: (29:15)
- About kindness contagion: (40:34)
- What is possible in this world with kindness: (45:28)
- Cultivating kindness: (48:14)
Connect with David Hamilton:
- Website: www.drdavidhamilton.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidRHamiltonPhD
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidrhamiltonphd/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/drdrhamilton
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGaiq6z0qMY52imF7SepD3w
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