Ages ago, I wrote this post about the night I prayed my water wouldn’t break.  I had a quiet, solitary evening ahead of me and just when I was relaxing in my very pregnant state, I felt it: anger. Clutching me with its sharp claws, I could feel the pain and rage of a past experience as if it were happening at that very moment.  I couldn’t allow that feeling to grow because the last time it did, and I was pregnant, I went into labour 5 weeks early.  That could have been a coincidence but I wasn’t taking any chances.

Instinctively, my mind grasped for something else, anything else, that would pull me out of this teeny, tiny world of she-did-this-to-me and he-said-that-to-me and into something greater.

My mind turned to service.  It reached for kindness.  I bet it was my Soul beckoning.

I thought about a particular man who was doing good deeds and that led to more thoughts of hope and inspiration.  I always knew being of service and doing kind things, just because, had a therapeutic effect on me (hence, I reached for thoughts of that nature as I was headed into a downward spiral) and now I understand why.

Last night I was reading am i being kind  by Michael J. Chase (founder of The Kindness Center) and here’s what I learned:

Performing an act of kindness increases the serotonin levels in your brain.  Serotonin is a hormone that, when released, brings feelings of happiness and peace.  It also strengthens immune function.  And it’s not just performing kind acts that does this: receiving and witnessing kindness have the same effect!  (Serotonin is also the hormone that is increased with the use of anti-depressants).

I bet you knew this, too, even if you didn’t have a way to chemically explain it.  Try it.  Next time you are in a funk – be it sadness, anger, the grumps, self-pity – go out of your way to do something nice for someone else.  See what happens!