30 Day Kindness Challenge Day 11 - Kindness Can Help to Retrain Neural Pathways in The Brain

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30 Day Kindness Challenge Day 11 - Kindness Can Help to Retrain Neural Pathways in The Brain
Nov 12, 2023, Season 1, Episode 11
Greg Shaw
Episode Summary

30 Day Kindness Challenge - Day Eleven

Kindness Can Help to Retrain Neural Pathways in The Brain

Welcome to Day 11 of our 30-Day Kindness Challenge. Today, we're talking about how kindness can help to retrain neural pathways in the brain. If you're just joining us or listening for the first time, let me tell you what we've been doing. Every day in November, I'm doing a short podcast about kindness. I will talk about some kindness facts and give you a kindness challenge. 

November 13th is World Kindness Day, so this mini-series is in honor of World Kindness Day 2023. It has been said that kindness is its own reward. But new research suggests that there may be another benefit to being kind: it can help retrain neural pathways in the brain.

4 Tips For Training Your Brain To Act With Kindness

Ever notice that being kind to someone makes you feel good too? It’s because altruism promotes a chemical reaction in your brain, releasing serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These chemicals not only make you feel good but also work to reinforce positive social behavior. By laying down new neural pathways, you set yourself up for living a positive, kinder life.

https://bit.ly/gregscloud4tips

In another study, participants were asked to perform acts of kindness for others on a daily basis. The results showed that after just six weeks, the participants had developed new neural pathways in the brain that were associated with positive emotions.

Journal Frontiers in Psychology

And a study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that participants who did acts of kindness had increased levels of activity in the hippocampus – a region of the brain associated with memory and learning. 

The study involved 40 adults aged 60-77 years old who were split into two groups.

One group completed eight weeks of training in mindfulness and compassion, while the other group did not receive any training. So next time you're feeling down, or like you're in a rut, try being kind to others. It just might help to retrain your brain and put you on the path to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Our findings suggest that engaging in acts of kindness may help to improve hippocampus function, which is important for memory and learning," said lead author Dr. Oliver Robinson, from the University of Birmingham. "This could have implications for interventions aimed at improving cognitive function in older adults. 

Happy People Become Happier Through Kindness: A Counting Kindnesses Intervention

In Study 1, researchers examined the relationship between kindness and happiness in Japanese undergraduate students.

Study 1 findings:

  • Happy people reported more frequent and intense positive experiences in daily life.
  • Happy people had more happy memories, primarily related to social relationships and kindness from others.
  • Happy people scored higher on motivation, recognition, and behavior related to kindness.
  • The study suggests that subjective happiness is associated with kindness and positive experiences.

In Study 2, researchers conducted a "counting kindnesses" intervention to assess its impact on subjective happiness.

Study 2 findings:

  • The counting kindness intervention significantly increased subjective happiness.
  • Participants who showed large increases in happiness also reported more kind behaviors and higher levels of grateful experiences during the intervention.
  • The study indicates that consciously practicing and recognizing kind behaviors can lead to increased happiness.

The studies highlight the importance of kindness and gratitude in subjective happiness and suggest that focusing on kind actions can enhance well-being.

https://bit.ly/gregscloudretrain

Another study, which was published in The National Library of Medicine (NLM) corroborates the findings that participants who did acts of kindness had increased levels of activity in the hippocampus – a region of the brain associated with memory and learning. 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Social influences on neuroplasticity: Stress and interventions to promote well-being

  • The study focuses on brain structures, particularly the hippocampus and caudate. 
  • Modern techniques like MRI and fMRI are used to measure structural and functional brain changes. 
  • The environment and social interactions can affect brain development and behavior. 
  • Early experiences and social support play a significant role in mental and physical health. 
  • Stressful environments can impact brain development, and interventions like exercise and therapy may have lasting benefits. 
  • Social context affects cognitive functions, including language learning. 
  • Prosocial interventions and training may induce neuroplastic changes in the brain. 
  • Early experiences greatly impact brain development, and social deprivation can lead to cognitive impairment. 
  • Well-being and prosocial traits may be trainable skills with lasting benefits. 
  • Stressful environments can impact brain development and behavior. 
  • Social support, mindfulness meditation, and positive emotional qualities can lead to better neurobehavioral functioning. 
  • Stress, especially early in life, can lead to structural changes in the brain. 
  • Meditation practices, such as compassion and mindfulness, can increase positive affect and induce neural changes. 
  • Social support, like holding a spouse's hand, can attenuate neural responses to threats. 
  • Mindfulness meditation can lead to reductions in perceived stress and changes in the amygdala. 

Research is ongoing to understand the long-term effects of these interventions. The findings highlight the potential for brain structural and functional changes through interventions and training. 

Positive emotional qualities can be enhanced through training, potentially leading to better neurobehavioral functioning. More research is needed to understand the precise mechanisms and long-term effects of these interventions.
https://bit.ly/gregscloudsi

The Power of Kindness in Improving Brain Health - Neuroscience News

Kindness is a potent factor in vibrant social engagement and overall brain health. Kindness can shape brain health not only for families but for society as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted family life, making kindness and resilience more important than ever. Research showed that kindness increased resilience and empathy among parents and children.

Equipping individuals with tools for proactive brain health has broader public health implications. 

“Resilience research shows that factors such as engaging in acts of kindness, developing trusting relationships, and responding compassionately to the feelings of others can help lay new neural pathways and improve quality of life. Yet, little research has investigated the effects of brain healthy parental practices of kindness with preschool aged children”.

https://bit.ly/gregscloudneuro

Conclusion

Kindness is a powerful force that can make us and others feel good. 

There is evidence that kindness can even change our brains. 

Several studies have shown that being kind activates areas of the brain associated with positive emotions, such as happiness and compassion.
It also helps to strengthen the connections between different parts of the brain, which can make us more resilient to stress and anxiety. 

So, not only does kindness make us feel good, but it can also make us healthier and happier. That's pretty cool! 

So go out there and spread some kindness today! It's good for you and the people around you.

Todays Kindness Challenge

  1. Print Out / Hand Out “You Matter” Cards
  2. Do something kind for someone you don't know. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for someone or giving up your seat on the bus. When you do something kind for someone, it not only makes them feel good, but it also releases feel-good hormones in your own brain. These hormones can help to improve your mood, reduce stress, and even boost your immune system.
  3. Forgive Someone.
  4. Practice Mindfulness
  5. Remove Any Criticism From Your Life.
  6. Write Someone an Encouraging Poem
  7. Wave to a Stranger
  8. Give your old warm coat or an extra blanket to someone who is homeless.
  9. Check-in with a friend or family member you haven’t heard from in a while to make sure they’re doing well.
  10. If you have a favorite restaurant or small business, leave a positive review online to help them.
  11. Leave a note in your mailbox to thank your mail carrier for their hard work.
  12. Be kind to yourself.

Here are some ways you could show yourself some love and kindness:

  1. Create a Self-Care Routine - Dedicate time each day for personal care.
  2. Listen to Uplifting Music - Create a playlist of songs that boost your mood.
  3. Take a Relaxing Bath - Add some Epsom salts, essential oils, or bath bombs.
  4. Get a Massage - Relax your body and mind with professional massage therapy.
  5. Practice Deep Breathing - Reduce stress through focused breathing exercises.
  6. Declutter Your Space - Create a calming and organized environment.
  7. Drink Plenty of Water - Stay hydrated for physical and mental well-being.
  8. Take a Nap - Rest when your body needs it.
  9. Fly a Kite - Relish the simplicity and freedom.
  10. Reflect on Your Journey - Acknowledge your growth and resilience.

Thank You for listening. Take care of yourself, and I will be back again tomorrow.

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30 Day Kindness Challenge Day 11 - Kindness Can Help to Retrain Neural Pathways in The Brain
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30 Day Kindness Challenge - Day Eleven

Kindness Can Help to Retrain Neural Pathways in The Brain

Welcome to Day 11 of our 30-Day Kindness Challenge. Today, we're talking about how kindness can help to retrain neural pathways in the brain. If you're just joining us or listening for the first time, let me tell you what we've been doing. Every day in November, I'm doing a short podcast about kindness. I will talk about some kindness facts and give you a kindness challenge. 

November 13th is World Kindness Day, so this mini-series is in honor of World Kindness Day 2023. It has been said that kindness is its own reward. But new research suggests that there may be another benefit to being kind: it can help retrain neural pathways in the brain.

4 Tips For Training Your Brain To Act With Kindness

Ever notice that being kind to someone makes you feel good too? It’s because altruism promotes a chemical reaction in your brain, releasing serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These chemicals not only make you feel good but also work to reinforce positive social behavior. By laying down new neural pathways, you set yourself up for living a positive, kinder life.

https://bit.ly/gregscloud4tips

In another study, participants were asked to perform acts of kindness for others on a daily basis. The results showed that after just six weeks, the participants had developed new neural pathways in the brain that were associated with positive emotions.

Journal Frontiers in Psychology

And a study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that participants who did acts of kindness had increased levels of activity in the hippocampus – a region of the brain associated with memory and learning. 

The study involved 40 adults aged 60-77 years old who were split into two groups.

One group completed eight weeks of training in mindfulness and compassion, while the other group did not receive any training. So next time you're feeling down, or like you're in a rut, try being kind to others. It just might help to retrain your brain and put you on the path to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Our findings suggest that engaging in acts of kindness may help to improve hippocampus function, which is important for memory and learning," said lead author Dr. Oliver Robinson, from the University of Birmingham. "This could have implications for interventions aimed at improving cognitive function in older adults. 

Happy People Become Happier Through Kindness: A Counting Kindnesses Intervention

In Study 1, researchers examined the relationship between kindness and happiness in Japanese undergraduate students.

Study 1 findings:

  • Happy people reported more frequent and intense positive experiences in daily life.
  • Happy people had more happy memories, primarily related to social relationships and kindness from others.
  • Happy people scored higher on motivation, recognition, and behavior related to kindness.
  • The study suggests that subjective happiness is associated with kindness and positive experiences.

In Study 2, researchers conducted a "counting kindnesses" intervention to assess its impact on subjective happiness.

Study 2 findings:

  • The counting kindness intervention significantly increased subjective happiness.
  • Participants who showed large increases in happiness also reported more kind behaviors and higher levels of grateful experiences during the intervention.
  • The study indicates that consciously practicing and recognizing kind behaviors can lead to increased happiness.

The studies highlight the importance of kindness and gratitude in subjective happiness and suggest that focusing on kind actions can enhance well-being.

https://bit.ly/gregscloudretrain

Another study, which was published in The National Library of Medicine (NLM) corroborates the findings that participants who did acts of kindness had increased levels of activity in the hippocampus – a region of the brain associated with memory and learning. 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Social influences on neuroplasticity: Stress and interventions to promote well-being

  • The study focuses on brain structures, particularly the hippocampus and caudate. 
  • Modern techniques like MRI and fMRI are used to measure structural and functional brain changes. 
  • The environment and social interactions can affect brain development and behavior. 
  • Early experiences and social support play a significant role in mental and physical health. 
  • Stressful environments can impact brain development, and interventions like exercise and therapy may have lasting benefits. 
  • Social context affects cognitive functions, including language learning. 
  • Prosocial interventions and training may induce neuroplastic changes in the brain. 
  • Early experiences greatly impact brain development, and social deprivation can lead to cognitive impairment. 
  • Well-being and prosocial traits may be trainable skills with lasting benefits. 
  • Stressful environments can impact brain development and behavior. 
  • Social support, mindfulness meditation, and positive emotional qualities can lead to better neurobehavioral functioning. 
  • Stress, especially early in life, can lead to structural changes in the brain. 
  • Meditation practices, such as compassion and mindfulness, can increase positive affect and induce neural changes. 
  • Social support, like holding a spouse's hand, can attenuate neural responses to threats. 
  • Mindfulness meditation can lead to reductions in perceived stress and changes in the amygdala. 

Research is ongoing to understand the long-term effects of these interventions. The findings highlight the potential for brain structural and functional changes through interventions and training. 

Positive emotional qualities can be enhanced through training, potentially leading to better neurobehavioral functioning. More research is needed to understand the precise mechanisms and long-term effects of these interventions.
https://bit.ly/gregscloudsi

The Power of Kindness in Improving Brain Health - Neuroscience News

Kindness is a potent factor in vibrant social engagement and overall brain health. Kindness can shape brain health not only for families but for society as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted family life, making kindness and resilience more important than ever. Research showed that kindness increased resilience and empathy among parents and children.

Equipping individuals with tools for proactive brain health has broader public health implications. 

“Resilience research shows that factors such as engaging in acts of kindness, developing trusting relationships, and responding compassionately to the feelings of others can help lay new neural pathways and improve quality of life. Yet, little research has investigated the effects of brain healthy parental practices of kindness with preschool aged children”.

https://bit.ly/gregscloudneuro

Conclusion

Kindness is a powerful force that can make us and others feel good. 

There is evidence that kindness can even change our brains. 

Several studies have shown that being kind activates areas of the brain associated with positive emotions, such as happiness and compassion.
It also helps to strengthen the connections between different parts of the brain, which can make us more resilient to stress and anxiety. 

So, not only does kindness make us feel good, but it can also make us healthier and happier. That's pretty cool! 

So go out there and spread some kindness today! It's good for you and the people around you.

Todays Kindness Challenge

  1. Print Out / Hand Out “You Matter” Cards
  2. Do something kind for someone you don't know. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for someone or giving up your seat on the bus. When you do something kind for someone, it not only makes them feel good, but it also releases feel-good hormones in your own brain. These hormones can help to improve your mood, reduce stress, and even boost your immune system.
  3. Forgive Someone.
  4. Practice Mindfulness
  5. Remove Any Criticism From Your Life.
  6. Write Someone an Encouraging Poem
  7. Wave to a Stranger
  8. Give your old warm coat or an extra blanket to someone who is homeless.
  9. Check-in with a friend or family member you haven’t heard from in a while to make sure they’re doing well.
  10. If you have a favorite restaurant or small business, leave a positive review online to help them.
  11. Leave a note in your mailbox to thank your mail carrier for their hard work.
  12. Be kind to yourself.

Here are some ways you could show yourself some love and kindness:

  1. Create a Self-Care Routine - Dedicate time each day for personal care.
  2. Listen to Uplifting Music - Create a playlist of songs that boost your mood.
  3. Take a Relaxing Bath - Add some Epsom salts, essential oils, or bath bombs.
  4. Get a Massage - Relax your body and mind with professional massage therapy.
  5. Practice Deep Breathing - Reduce stress through focused breathing exercises.
  6. Declutter Your Space - Create a calming and organized environment.
  7. Drink Plenty of Water - Stay hydrated for physical and mental well-being.
  8. Take a Nap - Rest when your body needs it.
  9. Fly a Kite - Relish the simplicity and freedom.
  10. Reflect on Your Journey - Acknowledge your growth and resilience.

Thank You for listening. Take care of yourself, and I will be back again tomorrow.

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