Have you heard? There’s an actual connection between kindness and your health! I’m Zulah Talmadge, editor of The Shady Pines Gazette newspaper, and I just came across this incredible news. Natually, I had to share it with you.
Until recently, most people thought about staying healthy in terms of lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, sleep, and the occasional doctor’s visit. While access to quality medical care remains critical, ample research shows that what happens in hospitals and clinics is just a small piece of the larger well-being puzzle. We now know that kindness is critical to physical health.
NOW THAT’S THE SHADY PINES WAY!
Those are the finding of pyschiatrist and author, Kelli Harding, M.D., MPH. As Dr. Harding tells it, in the late 1970s, researchers were trying to understand the relationship between diet and heart health. So scientist Robert Nerem, Ph.D., and his team designed a very straightforward experiment: They gave nearly genetically identical rabbits the same high-fat diet. At the end of the study, the team expected all the measures of health to be the same for all the rabbits.
Surprisingly, one group had far better (60% better, in fact) health markers than the others. There was no clear biological explanation for the difference. It turns out, the difference was in the researchers. It seemed the rabbits that fared better were all cared for by the same researcher, a particularly kind and caring individual. She wasn’t just feeding the rabbits kibble. She picked them up, pet them, and talked to them. In other words, she showed them kindness.
So the team repeated the experiment but this time with tightly controlled conditions and got the same startling results. Kindness made all the difference.
Dr. Harding goes on to recommend three things all of us can do to put more kindnessin our lives:
#1 Say “Thanks”
Showing appreicaition when someone does somthing nice for you not only feels good, but is actually good for you.
#2 Say Yes to Face Time
This means spending more time actually talking to people without using your phone or electronic devices.
#3 Sign Up to Volunteer
Studies show helping others makes you feel better about yourself and will actually help you live longer.
So, the bottom line is, kindness is a good choice and a healthy one, too. What can you suggest to make others in your world feel a litle better? Send up your thoughts in the comments below. More later!