Opiates are all over the news these days. The high one gets from them is obviously addictive. But did you know that your body produces it’s own high, through oxytocin, that can be replicated over and over?
I found myself on a weekend away recently meandering into a workshop called “Dare 2 Be Happy,” actually muttering to my friend “Hey, if we don’t love this, we don’t have to stay, right?!” It’s kind of funny to me to reflect on my Eeyore mental state before entering the room of this workshop which was subtitled, “the power of positive psychology.” Positive psychology is a growing field that looks at the mind and rather than saying “how can you stop from feeling depressed?” instead says “how can you be happy?”
I love neuroscience and let’s just say that time stood still over the weekend as I was swept into the content. I thought I would take a moment here to share some nuggets of information that I found mind-blowing, specifically surrounding acts of kindness. You see, not-so-random acts of kindness that you do (for someone else) increase your brain’s natural oxytocin levels. But it doesn’t stop there because the recipient also gets the same boost. Cool right?! Here’s the exciting part: the levels also go up for any witness!! Think about that for a moment. We have the potential to lift everyone by a simple act of kindness.
The weekend workshop left me wanting to incorporate everything I had learned. One of my “to dos” from the weekend is to load a single day with five acts of kindness. Tomorrow is my big day–Tuesdays I am a bit less scheduled so I can take the time to really send some goodness out into the world.
You knew you always felt good when you did something or witnessed something wonderful happening around you. What if you knew you had the ability to up-level your degree of happiness? And why not try? Join me tomorrow (or the day of your choice) in doing five acts of kindness. Let’s start an amazing ripple effect.