“Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein
By Janae Weinhold, Ph.D.
Kindness isnt just a fluffy, feel-good, warm-fuzzy concept. It is a powerful, energetic experience that transforms both the giver and recipient at such deep levels that some say it can work miracles. You can read accounts of these miracles at the Kindness Stories link on this site. Kindness works miracles that can be validated with scientific principles drawn from the quantum sciences of biology, physiology, psychoneuroimmuniology and physics.
First let’s look at the biological and physiological aspects of kindness. When we open our hearts and reach out to others in kindness, our brain releases endorphins, the morphine-like chemicals that produce the feelings of exhilaration know as the runner’s high. Acts of kindness, according to researcher Paul Persall, also cause your brain to release Substance P, a neurotransmitter chemical that blocks pain. These two powerful physiological processes have an immense influence on our body/mind/spirit and the way that we experience life.
Kindness Strengthens Your Immune System
A steady flow of endorphins and Substance P through our bodies strengthens our immune system, keeps us feeling happy, joyful, optimistic and energized. This heightens our sense of well being so that we feel calmer, more centered and focused no matter what kind of stressful events might be happening around us. Physiologically, these brain chemicals improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, increase body warmth and improve weight control. Kindness helps us relax so that we can connect with others and with our own good feelings.
Other researchers discovered that the reverse is true. When we are angry with others, the flow of these feel-good chemicals stops. They are replaced by cortisol and adrenaline, which create fight, flight and freeze behaviors associated with trauma and stress. When they are flowing through our bodies, we have a ‘short fuse that makes us feel irritable, hostile, helpless and depressed. Long-term exposure to these chemicals depletes the body’s organs, lowers the function of the immune system and leads to dis-ease and illness.
Now let’s look at acts of kindness from an energetic perspective. Kindness that comes from a place of deep love, joy, gratitude and appreciation stirs deep emotions that actually influence our DNA. Experiments at the Institute of Heart Math revealed that DNA changed its shape according to the feelings of researchers trained to generate and feel strong emotions.
Research Confirms That Kindness Affects Your DNA
In this experiment, researchers held some human placenta DNA (the most pristine kind) in containers from which they could measure changes in it. When the researchers felt gratitude, love and appreciation, the DNA in the containers was observed to relax and the strands unwound and became longer. When they felt anger, fear, frustration or stress, in the presence of these containers, the DNA responded by tightening up, becoming shorter and actually switching off its codes. If youve ever felt ‘shut down by negative emotions, now you know why. When your DNA switches off, it closes down your body’s growth program and activates your body’s defense software. The HeartMath Institute experiment researchers found that when they shifted to feelings of love, joy, gratitude and appreciation, that the DNA relaxed, unwound and lengthened, which switched their codes on again.
The work of quantum biologist Bruce Lipton also takes this phenomenon a step further. His research indicates that our body’s computer can only be in growth mode or protection mode and that it cannot be both at the same time. A lot of the stress that humans encounter over the course of a day is the result of our DNA turning off and on again and again. The more that we are able to sustain the flow of the feel-good chemicals generated by acts of kindness, the more that our DNA relaxes, the more healthy, connected and creative we are able to be. This allows our centered and caring energy to ripple around us and influence the energy field of others.
Gregg Braden describes this as the Isaiah Effect, which is our ability to alter the web of energy known as the universe. He says that living cells communicate through this web and that it is not affected by time and distance. This is behind the assertion by Barry & Janae Weinhold that basic energy of the universe is unconditional love. They say that when you can open your heart to love others unconditionally and be loved unconditionally you experience what they call LOVEvolution, or the ability to evolve and grow. Valerie Hunt’s research on human energy fields also validates not only our ability to communicate through telepathic mind-field transmissions, she also says trees, plants and animals all do this. In the far distant past in our evolution, humans were once able to communicate telepathically. Since the development of the left hemisphere of the bran and the intellect, we have lost most of it. Now we seem to be reclaiming it as a species and learning how to use telepathy consciously.
Acts of Kindness: A Recipe For Combating Stress
So, here’s a recipe for dealing with interpersonal, economic, political, ecological and planetary stressors. Make performing acts of kindness a focus in your life. Look for ways to extend your love in the smallest wayslooking into the eyes of a child, stroking a plant as you pass by it, being compassionate while speaking to the Customer Service person, say please and thank when you transact with people and cutting people slack when you can see that they are at their edge.
As you do this, you may find yourself slowly becoming intolerant of the feel-bad chemicals and experience a growing dependence in your body/mind/spirit to the feel-good ones. Once you realize that how you feel and interact is a choice, you can use your consciousness to direct the flow of your life. It is also true from both psychological and from spiritually based research that what you focus on, you will attract more of into your life. By focusing on being more kind and recognizing the kindness of others, you will be able to consciously attract more kindness and joy into you life. This is real enlightenment!
Now that you understand the scientific foundation of kindness, we invite you to take the Kindness Challenge. For one or two days or for a week, focus on being kind and see for yourself how it changes your body/mind/spirit. Keep a daily journal of what happens to you. Then return to this site and email your Kindness Challenge stories here.