According to Dr David Hamilton, an act of kindness produces the hormone oxytocin which in turn causes the release of chemicals to reduce blood pressure and combat stress damage. These physiological changes create an atmosphere of bonding.
Acts of kindness
My mother said “I am with you” as I explained my PhD proposal to her on unconventional wisdom for well-being. I was used to feeling tension on this subject, but as I communicated in an honest and heartfelt way I was surprised to find that she was on my side. Her tone was soft, her gaze was gentle and we later hugged. I don’t need her approval to be happy, but it makes a difference.
My identical twin was also ‘with me’ as he spoke of the various quantitative and qualitative methods for analysing a proposed intervention for the study. Perhaps I also communicated in a real way to the extent that he truly understood, instead of being on different sides of the argument. It was good to have him on board – his voice was unstrained, his facial expression was relaxed and he truly listened.
The kindness of my mother and twin no doubt caused these changes within me – I felt calmer, more relaxed, confident and hopeful for the future.
I continued chatting with my mother for some time and I hung out with my brother for the evening. In line with the science, when others are ‘with me’, their bodies are quieter (a reduction of blood pressure) and calmer (combating stress damage). The giver and receiver of kindness are changed for the better.
Isn’t it wonderful to experience this sense of bonding, for the mellowing effect on the mind, heart and body?