The Chemistry of Kindness

by | Jul 24, 2017

Through my work I am privileged to see people with their mask removed and their innermost vulnerabilities revealed. I hear about people’s lives in a way that not many people do. This is one of the things I love about my job and why I feel honoured to do the work I do.

A natural part of my job involves being very present, being kind and listening. I often think that beyond my skills, training and knowledge it is the kindness that people need most, along with being heard and understood. So often we move through life and no one really knows how we are genuinely feeling, or what repetitive thoughts are in our minds, or how low we might be.

I have been thinking about how people hide away, especially when there is something going on that makes them feel vulnerable and how in these moments kindness from someone reaching out is so significant.

Recently when I was at a low point in my own life a few people reached out to me and their doing so touched me very deeply. I was hiding away, feeling raw emotions that were so strong I couldn’t speak about them, I couldn’t ask for the help I needed or let my nearest and dearest know how much I was suffering.

Then a friend took the time to call me, we spoke about the situation but then she asked me how I was doing in amongst everything. It was the perfect question, one asked with such kindness that it finally allowed my mask to drop away and the tears rise up and fall. Tears that are in fact literally flushing away the physical and chemical build up of stress, sadness, and grief.

Then out of the blue another friend, in fact the brother of one of my best friends, someone I have known loosely for many years went out of his way to help me, he made time to listen, took down important details and organised getting help so it was there if I needed it. The impact of this insightful and kind act was that I felt my problem was shared; someone else carried it for a moment. It may not have felt like such a big deal to him but his kindness moved me to tears and gave me strength.

I think when life is ticking along and flowing we experience kindness but we don’t always truly notice it, it has less of an impact. Yet when times are hard the smallest acts of kindness can resonate and change a vibration on a cellular level. The chemistry in the central nervous system changes, it literally ‘moves you to the core’ and the intelligence of the gut brain (which secretes feel-good chemicals) is activated.

So to finish off, I suggest making genuine acts of kindness part of your daily habits. And don’t forget that when we are kind we feel good too (don’t get me started on mirror neurons).