Loving Kindness: Live Healthier and Happier

I received a Mayo Clinic email newsletter and I just wanted to share this article with you all.

How sharing kindness can make you healthier & happier. Can simply sharing kindness on a regular basis help your health? Research says yes, in more ways than you might guess.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You've heard the uplifting stories: Passersby dropping scads of cash into charity collection buckets or anonymous donors paying off hospital bills for strangers. And people helping victims during storms and natural disasters. These acts of kindness make everybody feel good.

There's a science behind that phenomenon called "loving kindness." And research shows that learning and practicing loving kindness can profoundly affect your attitude, outlook and even your health.

Better yet, you can rewire your brain to be more present and kinder to others, giving your mood a daily boost. These three simple practices will help get you started.

1. Loving-kindness meditation (LKM). LKM is a quiet, contemplative practice that focuses thought on your heart region and encourages warm, tender thoughts, possibly about a loved one. In one study, people who practiced LKM an hour a week felt greater positive emotions — love, contentment, joy — while interacting with others.

Documented health benefits of practicing LKM include:

Reduced pain and tension from migraines
Reduced symptoms of depression
Possibly slowing the aging process. Studies have found that women who practice LKM have longer telomeres, which are like little end-caps on your DNA. Shorter telomeres have been associated with faster aging.
Maybe the best news is that even small doses of LKM can help. One study found that a 10-minute session of LKM increased feelings of social connection and positive feelings toward others.

2. Acts of kindness. This one's so simple: Intentionally set a goal to be kinder to others. Express sincerely felt kindness to a co-worker. Make a special effort to extend kind words to a neighbor. Hold the elevator for someone or take time to help a loved one.

As you spread your kindness, you might just experience what research has confirmed: Generosity can be contagious.

Why? The act of helping others actually activates the part of your brain that makes you feel pleasure. It also releases a hormone called oxytocin that helps modulate social interactions and emotion — the higher your oxytocin levels, the more generous you may be.

Food for thought: Reportedly, one person in Winnipeg, Manitoba, picked up the tab for the next car in line at a coffee-and-sandwich drive-through. This inspired the next person to do to the same. The chain continued for an astonishing 226 customers!

Seems like research supports the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The kinder you act toward others, the better you will feel.

3. Focus on gratitude. Do you feel grateful for the good things in your life? If not, it's time to start.

Researchers have found that feelings of thankfulness can help improve sleep, diminish fatigue, increase confidence and even lessen depression. One way to increase your feelings of gratitude is to start journaling.

Keeping a gratitude journal — just writing down things you're grateful for — has been found to actually improve biological markers that indicate heart health. Don't want to carry a notebook? There are plenty of phone apps that can help you express gratitude or share happy moments.

Like anything else, engaging in loving kindness gets easier with practice. Try thinking positive thoughts about people in your life. Write down the things you're grateful for this week. Set aside 10 minutes to meditate. You may just find a happier, healthier you.

As all of you have shown much kindness and caring for each other, I knew you would appreciate these thoughts and that you would have great stories about kindness. So, let's take some time to share!

Could you share how you practice a loving kindness meditation? Is it through your art, your words, phone calls or notes that you write to others?
Will you share Acts of Kindness that you have either received or given?
Gratitude: How do you focus on gratitude? Do you keep a journal, do you acknowledge gratitude when you see and hear it in action?

I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

@johnbishop

@jenniferhunter, I love listening to anyone playing the piano and especially when I am at the Gonda building in the atrium area. Although I didn't see this one in person it has been one of my favorites.

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What a good time had by those who played, those who were lucky to be there, and all of us who just saw this! Surely made me smile.
Ginger

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I few years ago I was driving south on I-35 from the twin cities and saw this beautiful Christmas tree. It truly is a sight to behold. I recently learned the story behind the tree and it's lights.

Stunning tree of lights is gift to I-35 holiday travelers
https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/land-of-10000-stories/stunning-tree-of-lights-is-gift-to-i-35-holiday-travelers/89-616679273

John

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@hopeful33250

@johnbishop Great story, John!

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Thanks Teresa. It really is an amazing tree out in the middle of nowhere. You have to see it at night though. ☺

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@johnbishop

I few years ago I was driving south on I-35 from the twin cities and saw this beautiful Christmas tree. It truly is a sight to behold. I recently learned the story behind the tree and it's lights.

Stunning tree of lights is gift to I-35 holiday travelers
https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/land-of-10000-stories/stunning-tree-of-lights-is-gift-to-i-35-holiday-travelers/89-616679273

John

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@johnbishop That is a beautiful story. thank you for sharing it.

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Don't you just love throwback Thursdays ☺ I had this random act of kindness memory pop up on my Facebook feed from Dec 13, 2014

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Great start to 12/13/14 so far…

Went to breakfast at The Old School Cafe – a nice young lady was opening her trunk to carry some boxes into the cafe. Nice guy that I am, I asked if I could help her carry the boxes. Being and old guy she gave me the smaller of the boxes with 2 carry handles while she took the bigger box containing some nice bottles of wine (she must have noticed how I was walking when I got out of the car). I was able to hold the door open for her like any gentleman would and we set the boxes down on the table next to her friends. Not only did I get a big smile and thank you, I also got an awesome Merry Christmas hug from a nice young lady – made my day!

Wait that's not the end of the story! After enjoying one of my favorite breakfasts – the "downsized" Southwestern Omelet (can't eat the big one!), my wife stopped in for coffee on her break from work. When I went to pay for the bill, I was told that nice young lady took care of it. I thanked her on the way out but thought it would be pressing my luck to ask for another hug! So Mrs whatever your name is, my wish for you is to have a great day and my hope is that someone will make your day also.

That's it – time for a nap!
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My wish is that if I do see her again (and remember it's her!) that I'm able to repay the act of kindness given to me. For now, I'm just keeping my neighbors kitten inside for the winter since her husband is allergic to cats. She has full visitors rights and first option to get Kitty back. Their little boy named her Kitty. She is a handful.

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@johnbishop

Don't you just love throwback Thursdays ☺ I had this random act of kindness memory pop up on my Facebook feed from Dec 13, 2014

—————————-
Great start to 12/13/14 so far…

Went to breakfast at The Old School Cafe – a nice young lady was opening her trunk to carry some boxes into the cafe. Nice guy that I am, I asked if I could help her carry the boxes. Being and old guy she gave me the smaller of the boxes with 2 carry handles while she took the bigger box containing some nice bottles of wine (she must have noticed how I was walking when I got out of the car). I was able to hold the door open for her like any gentleman would and we set the boxes down on the table next to her friends. Not only did I get a big smile and thank you, I also got an awesome Merry Christmas hug from a nice young lady – made my day!

Wait that's not the end of the story! After enjoying one of my favorite breakfasts – the "downsized" Southwestern Omelet (can't eat the big one!), my wife stopped in for coffee on her break from work. When I went to pay for the bill, I was told that nice young lady took care of it. I thanked her on the way out but thought it would be pressing my luck to ask for another hug! So Mrs whatever your name is, my wish for you is to have a great day and my hope is that someone will make your day also.

That's it – time for a nap!
—————————

My wish is that if I do see her again (and remember it's her!) that I'm able to repay the act of kindness given to me. For now, I'm just keeping my neighbors kitten inside for the winter since her husband is allergic to cats. She has full visitors rights and first option to get Kitty back. Their little boy named her Kitty. She is a handful.

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Hi John: It looks like you are "paying it forward" by helping your neighbor's cat stay warm this winter~

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@johnbishop

Don't you just love throwback Thursdays ☺ I had this random act of kindness memory pop up on my Facebook feed from Dec 13, 2014

—————————-
Great start to 12/13/14 so far…

Went to breakfast at The Old School Cafe – a nice young lady was opening her trunk to carry some boxes into the cafe. Nice guy that I am, I asked if I could help her carry the boxes. Being and old guy she gave me the smaller of the boxes with 2 carry handles while she took the bigger box containing some nice bottles of wine (she must have noticed how I was walking when I got out of the car). I was able to hold the door open for her like any gentleman would and we set the boxes down on the table next to her friends. Not only did I get a big smile and thank you, I also got an awesome Merry Christmas hug from a nice young lady – made my day!

Wait that's not the end of the story! After enjoying one of my favorite breakfasts – the "downsized" Southwestern Omelet (can't eat the big one!), my wife stopped in for coffee on her break from work. When I went to pay for the bill, I was told that nice young lady took care of it. I thanked her on the way out but thought it would be pressing my luck to ask for another hug! So Mrs whatever your name is, my wish for you is to have a great day and my hope is that someone will make your day also.

That's it – time for a nap!
—————————

My wish is that if I do see her again (and remember it's her!) that I'm able to repay the act of kindness given to me. For now, I'm just keeping my neighbors kitten inside for the winter since her husband is allergic to cats. She has full visitors rights and first option to get Kitty back. Their little boy named her Kitty. She is a handful.

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@johnbishop Ahh, kitten-in-the-lap in a favorite way for me! I just had my lap abandoned by Tessie Belle in favor of the garden window in the kitchen. How kind of you to foster the little one.
Ginger

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Hi All:

Every now and then I read an article that I like to share. The article I would like to share today has to do with the topic of this discussion on Kindness. However, this article takes a slightly different approach and that is how to develop self-kindness. Here is a link to the article,
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed/practicing-self-kindness-part-1/
I especially enjoyed the suggestions of Deliberate Acts of Self-Kindness. I invite you to read this article and then to pick one of the deliberate acts of self-kindness and practice it today. I have picked #7, write a thank you note to myself.

Which deliberate act of self-kindness will you choose for today?

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Hello All:

We now have Part 2 of Practicing Self Kindness. Here is a link to the article, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed/practicing-self-kindness-part-2/?

You will see that once again there are suggested activities for practicing self-kindness. I especially like #1, say three kind things about yourself at the start of each day.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Which act of self-kindness will you pick?

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I just ran across a blog that was uplifting and easy to read. I thought you all might enjoy reading it too.

The Leaf Artist – https://leafartist.tumblr.com/

Happy Friday!

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@johnbishop

I just ran across a blog that was uplifting and easy to read. I thought you all might enjoy reading it too.

The Leaf Artist – https://leafartist.tumblr.com/

Happy Friday!

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@johnbishop Loved it! She reminds me of my mother, who passed in 1998 from Alzheimer's and dementia.
Ginger

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