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The Five Side Effects of Kindness (1)

When we think of side effects, the first thing that springs to mind are the side effects of drugs. But who’d have thought that kindness could have side effects too?

Well, it does! And positive ones at that.

Dr. David R. Hamilton, PhD, published a book in 2017 entitled, "The Five Side Effects of Kindness" He explains how scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, and may even be an antidote to depression. We're actually genetically wired to be kind. He shows that the effects of kindness are felt daily throughout our nervous systems. When we're kind, our bodies are healthiest.

I am so excited about having been directed to Dr, Hamilton's book and I want to share the key thoughts from it with you in a series of blog comments.

1) Kindness Makes us Happier

When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do, and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’

On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.

So, Dr. Hamilton's first point explains how our body chemistry is triggered by doing acts of kindness. I've been preaching the psychological/spiritual benefits of showing kindness, but now Dr. Hamilton tells us how it actually affects our body.

References to all studies can be found in

David R Hamilton, PhD., ‘The Five Side Effects of Kindness

(Hay House, February 2017).


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