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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Open Your Heart Sharing Kindness is Good for Our Health

Jan 31, 2020 10:00AM ● By Donna Ouellette

Showing love is healthy for our hearts. The act of helping others activates the part of our brain that makes us feel pleasure. It also releases a hormone called oxytocin that helps modulate social interactions and emotion—the higher our oxytocin levels, the more generous we may be. When our body releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, it has the power to reduce stress hormones and lower blood pressure. 

Take some time this Valentine’s Day to share the love with others. Here are some suggestions for making the world a better place to live by passing along some loving kindness. 
 Bake some cookies for a neighbor
 Compliment a stranger. Everyone loves compliments.
 Keep Ziploc bags in car with clean socks, Kind bars and water for the homeless.
 Pay the person before you in line grocery bill when they are short of money.
 Smile at someone. Smiles are contagious.
 Reach out to someone who is grieving from the loss of a loved one in 2019.
 Send a handwritten letter or card to a loved one you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
 Start a conversation with someone who looks a little sad. It’s sure to brighten their day.
 Call someone whom you haven’t spoken to in a while.  
 Give a gift…anonymously.  
 Volunteer to do something helpful for your parents or grandparents. They’ll be grateful for one less task or chore to do.
 Give the gift of time. Volunteer to sit with an elderly neighbor or to babysit for a single parent.
 Hug someone. Sometimes a hug is just what someone needs to feel better while releasing oxytocin. 
 Offer encouraging words to someone who’s discouraged. You never know when your words will help motivate a person who feels like no one cares about them.

Research shows having a positive outlook on life can protect against cardiovascular disease. Researchers defined the “positive affect” as feeling joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment, all of which stem from being loved and showing love to others in many different ways.  

Donna Ouellette, of Evolve Nutrition & Vitality, is a cancer survivor certified in functional nutrition. Her wellness boutique has a full line of health and wellness products and wigs and accessories to help with hair loss. She offers an eight-week Power to Feel your Best class based on an individual’s needs. Free consultation by appointment. For more information call 401-578-5879 or visit See listing in the Community Resource Guide.