Brain Health Benefits of Kindness and Compassion

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY APR 14, 2020

From a brain health perspective, it is essential to support the many who are coping with anxiety over the health of their families and loved ones, as well as the economic and multiple other individual impacts of the pandemic. To this effort, the Brain Health Initiative will continue to offer BRAIN HEALTH BOOSTS, resources, tools and tips to stand up for your health and fight against illness. Today, the Brain Health Initiative is focusing on the brain healthy behaviors of compassion and kindness and how these actions can improve your health and fight illness. Compassion enables you to understand yourself and others more as you seek to relieve suffering. Thinking about other people's suffering, and not just your own, helps to put everything in perspective. Beyond individual benefits of living a life of kindness and compassion, research shows these behaviors can be inspiring and also have a ripple effect to the entire community. The research demonstrates that seeing one person help another person creates a heightened state of well-being, or elevation in both the giver and receiver. Not only do we feel an increase in positive emotions when we watch a compassionate act, but we are then more likely to act with compassion ourselves. Suddenly, we find ourselves in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic and how have we responded? With an outpouring of kindness and compassion. In our families, our neighborhoods, communities and in the workplace, people are working to get through this uncertain time — together.

Compassion abounds in Manatee and Sarasota counties for residents who are feeling the direct impact of COVID-19. Volunteers are making personal protective equipment and children are creating art for health care workers and first responders. Restaurants and businesses are providing food and supplies to people in need. Members of the arts community and social service organizations are using technology to deliver their programs and services to those with interest or need. Philanthropists and foundations are establishing funds to support businesses and workers who are feeling the economic impact of quarantine and social distancing. The potential benefit of a compassionate culture to the community is huge. From a brain health perspective, by continuing to respond with kindness and compassion, we end up protecting our individual and community brain and physical health. In addition to lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and strengthening the immune system, compassion boosts our sense of well-being. Connecting with others in a meaningful way helps us enjoy better health and speeds up recovery from disease. It also builds resilience to the current stressors, and may even lengthen our life. Compassion is an intervention that protects brain health and a preventive measure against brain illness at the individual and community level. 

Click for COVID-19 Webinar: April 15 at Noon "Remaining In Control of Our Emotions"

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