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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

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Melli O'Brien



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What Kindness Does to Your Brain

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about

what kindness does to your brain.

So we've probably all witnessed how acts

of kindness can spread and multiply.

Right now, people are using the phrase,

the kindness contagion to describe the

wave of kindness that's been spreading

throughout the world in the midst of

these very difficult times that we're in.

And it's true.

Kindness is contagious.

Witnessing acts of kindness makes us

more likely to do the same for others.

And in fact, when we witness an act

of kindness, our body and mind seem to

interpret what we're seeing as if we're

actually experiencing it ourselves.

Now, when it comes to us giving kindness,

doing kindness, kindness has been shown

to increase our self-esteem as well

as improving empathy and compassion.

It's been shown to improve mood and

decrease the stress hormone cortisol,

thereby reducing stress levels.

And kindness, of course, tends to increase

our sense of connection with others,

which reduces loneliness and depression.

Physiologically, kindness can lead to very

real changes in the brain and the body.

Kindness lowers our blood pressure.

It boosts our serotonin and dopamine,

the feel good hormones that give you

a sense of contentment and wellbeing.

And endorphins, which are your body's

natural painkillers also can be released.

These are some of the reasons why

the research shows that people who

practice kindness regularly tend

to be healthier and live longer.

So looking for ways to show kindness

can give your life a sense of

meaning, purpose, and connection.

Through doing it, we're also

building better selves and better

communities at the same time.

So Greek storyteller Aesop once

said, "No act of kindness, no

matter how small is ever wasted.

So today, and for the rest of this week,

I invite you to try this little challenge.

See if you can do one small kind thing

each day for someone in your life and then

be attentive to the effect it has on you.

Does it brighten your mood?

Do you feel more connected to others?

Does it give your life a sense of meaning?

So it's a beautiful thing to

see that being kind to others is

actually a kindness to ourselves.

The more love and compassion we

direct towards others, the more

joy we end up giving to ourselves.

As James Matthew Barry once said, "Those

who bring sunshine to the lives of

others cannot keep it from themselves."

So in today's meditation, we'll continue

to cultivate kindness within ourselves.

So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

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