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 […]

How Kindness Can Heal The Body

It’s been said that love or kindness can mend a broken heart. It’s true, and by this we generally mean emotionally. But there’s much more to it. Love and kindness also have a physical impact on the heart. Let me explain. Everyone knows that stress creates stress hormones, like cortisol, adrenalin, and norepinephrine. But, to […]

Born to be kind

“My religion is Kindness” HH The Dalai Lama You’ve probably heard of ‘The Selfish Gene’. Many have mistakenly taken this to mean than humans are naturally selfish. That’s not what the term ‘selfish gene’ refers to. Selfish gene really refers to the process of evolution where genes are copied and passed onto the next generation. […]

Molecules of Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop A molecule is a useful collection of atoms. I used to be an organic chemist so I made molecules every day. Even if you don’t know exactly what a molecule is, I’ll bet you’re familiar with many popular ones. Serotonin is a molecule […]

The power of a hug

A hug is wonderful when you feel sad, stressed, tired and even when you feel good. I love what the Free Hugs people do when they stand in a city centre holding a ‘Free Hugs’ sign. Their hugs produce human connection, vulnerability, smiles, laughter, positive emotion, and even sometimes tears, especially if it’s the first […]

Helper’s High

The term ‘Helper’s High’ was first coined by Allan Luks, in his book, ‘The Healing Power of Doing Good’. You’re probably familiar with the high. It’s that good feeling we get when we do something kind for someone or an animal. There are loads of ways we can help each other. Giving time to someone […]

6 fascinating facts about the love hormone… and what that means for you

I’ve written quite a lot about oxytocin, which also goes by the name of ‘love hormone’, ‘cuddle chemical’, ‘molecule of kindness’, or any other affectionate term that implies something about bonding and connecting. If you ever wondered about those names, it’s because we produce oxytocin when we’re feeling love or connection (with a human, animal, […]

The 3-Degree Ripple Rule

You probably know that when you do a kind act, the impact goes farther than the person whom you have helped. But I suspect you hadn’t considered that each simple act of kindness you do might actually be affecting around 16 people. So how do I come up with that number? Well, it’s based research […]