Kindness is more than just a good deed; it has a critical part in our well-being. Research has shown that kindness improves our physical and mental health – whether we’re giving kindness, receiving kindness, or simply witnessing kindness. Kindness can help us feel happier and deserves a prominent place in the March 20th International Day of Happiness 2022.
Loss of connection is a significant factor leading to depression, addiction, and other mental health issues, including suicide. I read a study recently that showed that the body treats loneliness as a threat. It turns on the stress response in the nervous system. “The body treats loneliness as a state of threat and responds by activating defensive systems like the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn prompts the immune system to enhance inflammation,” observed Steve Cole, Ph.D. of the University of California Los Angeles. There is a growing body of evidence that social connection and mental health are deeply linked.
Our sense of safety is lost when we experience the loneliness of isolation. No wonder in the isolation of covid, we have experienced such angst and so many mental health challenges.
Deb Dana, researcher, teacher, author, and colleague of Dr. Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory), classifies connection as a biological imperative. Imagine the level of estrangement and internal turmoil people are feeling these days.
Dr. Gabor Mate states in his interview on the Effect of Covid on the Youth’s Mental Health:
“There’s a lot of alarms raised internationally actually about the future of mental health of the young age group as a result of the stress of Covid. What that means is when you cut off the contact, as Covid has done significantly for people, they are at risk.
If you look at traditional cultures, what did they do? Communal meals or family meals, at least. Meals were not just for food consumption; they were as much for social interactions. Kids will not be around their parents all the time, so we need to spend time with kids. We’ve got to put in the time. [We’ve got to put in the heart.] Sometimes, just listening to kids’ frustrations and not necessarily trying to fix them can make a significant difference in helping them get through the pandemic with strong and healthy minds.”
Dr. Mate’s warning goes for everyone – all age groups. Loneliness is experienced as a threat – the opposite of safety and connection.
Today and every day, can you make it a priority to hold space for and listen to someone? And, if you are isolated, can you dare to reach out to someone and ask if they might hold space and listen to you?
Connection, putting in the heart – these things save lives – for real.
Do you think happiness is a dream? Maybe even an impossible dream?
It starts with a ripple.
Take a page from the story of the heart.
Here are just a few aspects of the mighty heart: peaceful, joyful, passionate, grateful, sorrowful, restive, powerful, and potent.
The heart teaches patience. We learn to wait in the space between one heartbeat and the next.
The heart is a time traveler. Its origins have been traced back a billion years to the primitive jellyfish.
The heart is a magnificent machine. The adult human heart pumps about one-third of a cup of blood and 1500-2000 gallons of blood each day. It is the ultimate nourisher, bringing nutrients to the body, mind, and soul.
Nestled and cradled in the heart lives ever-available soul wisdom.
The song of the heart spans a lifetime melody sparked by Divine rhythm.
The heart is a faithful companion. It is with us at the beginning, and in the end, after its last beat, it transmutes into its essence: pure love. Love, sourced in the heart, is the driver and director of kindness. And acts of kindness lead straight into happiness.
You never know what someone is going through. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing. Yet, its rewards are invaluable. Reach out. Each person on this Earth can make a difference. With the kindness connection, we can overcome the epidemic of loneliness and create a ripple of kindness, connection, and health across the whole planet. Watch happiness blossom!
Elizabeth Kipp is the author of The Way Through Chronic Pain: Tools to Reclaim Your Healing Power. She is a Chronic Pain Management Specialist, Addiction Recovery Coach, and Ancestral Clearing Practitioner. You can reach Elizabeth through her website at https://Elizabeth-Kipp.com
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