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Benefits of Stress: How Being Kind can make you Happy

Thank you, kindly 

Ah gratitude, one of life’s great pleasures. Here’s the thing, no matter what your day holds, no matter how bad it gets, there are moments (hopefully many) where people do nice things for you. Large, small, expected or surprising. All we ask from you, is to recognize it. Spot the kindness, appreciate it, and say those two magically wonderful words (3, if you include ‘kindly’)


It's science

  • When we express or receive gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and that enhances our mood immediately, making us feel happy.
  • The hippocampus and amygdala, the two main sites in the limbic system that regulate emotions, memory, and bodily functioning, get activated with feelings of gratitude.
  • People who feel grateful show a marked reduction in their level of cortisol, the stress hormone.


Where should you start? 

Start with simple, everyday, taken-for-granted things. For example, being grateful for your morning coffee or the barista who made it for you. Or kindly, thanking your dry cleaner, mailman, pharmacist, or supermarket check-out clerk for keeping your life running as smoothly as possible, especially these days.

Extra credit

Track that gratitude. Use a journal or take copious mental notes, or simply write or type up five things (events, people, places, actions) you are grateful for that day.  It will keep you “thinking” about your grateful moments all day long. 


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