Nature’s Catch 22

I’ve written a lot about the “side effects” of kindness. There’s five of them: Kindness makes you happier, it’s good for the heart, it slows ageing, it improves relationships, and it’s contagious. There’s talk sometimes where people say there is no truly altruistic act, that if you benefit from kindness then you’re being somewhat selfish […]

Kindness on the curriculum

I spent some time in New York City last weekend. I’m writing a series of pieces for Psychologies Magazine called ‘The Kindness Conversation’ where I basically have, well, conversations about kindness. In New York, I had my kindness conversation with Cynthia Germanotta, mother of Lady Gaga. Cynthia is president and co-founder (with her daughter) of […]

How belief can drive recovery

When I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, the placebo effect was frequently dismissed as ‘all in the mind’ or ‘psychosomatic’. It wasn’t a real improvement, it was believed, merely that people ‘think’ they’re feeling better. This was conventional wisdom at that time and is still a widely held belief today. When a mother kisses a […]

Can you visualise drugs working?

I recently chatted with a girl who has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was a child. Now in her late 20s, she’s taken painkillers for years. When she was first diagnosed, a nurse instructed her to imagine her painkillers travelling to her joints and then dissolving into little particles and spreading out over the joints, […]

How your mind can heal your body

Yay! It’s book launch day. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ My book, ‘HOW YOUR MIND CAN HEAL YOUR BODY’ is officially on sale now from everywhere that sells books. 😀 It’s the 10-year anniversary edition. The book was first published 10 years ago and usually, when I write a book, I kind of just put it out there and […]

The vagus nerve and cancer

I recently read a scientific paper, published this year in the Journal of Oncology (see paper), with great interest. It linked the activity of the vagus nerve with cancer prognosis. Why is this important? I’ve written quite a bit about the vagus nerve in some of my blogs and books (The Five Side Effects of […]

Can kindness boost the immune system?

In other blogs, I’ve written how kindness is the opposite of stress in terms of its physiological effects. At first, one might imagine that peace is the opposite of stress, but peace is more the absence of stress than its opposite. In a number of different ways, kindness produces opposite effects from those that stress […]