Have you found yourself criticizing and judging others over Christmas, perhaps family and friends? Rather than finding fault, find the attributes that they are good in. Remember everyone’s behaviour reflects where they are and how they are dealing with life and their daily challenges. Every time you go to say something unkind about others, change your dialogue.
Mudita means: “Finding delight in other people’s wellbeing and success”. In our everyday life, we can cultivate mudita by becoming aware of the times when we feel jealous about someone else’s good fortune or happiness. This is not meant to be a practice that makes you feel guilty or ashamed. Instead, awareness is the first step to changing the way the mind is habituated.
Having compassion for one another
The biggest attribute any human being can have is compassion. Compassion does not just make us feel good, it has powerful effects on our health. Including our physical body and biochemical hormones. This includes our life expectancy.
Compassion is the basis of our relationship with ourselves plus others. In order to have compassion we must have love and security (Maslow’s triangle). When we have these attributes, we will have a better ability to deal with pain and problems. Oxytocin is a by-product and happy endorphin as a result of compassion.
Once the baby is born, oxytocin helps to move milk from the ducts in the breast to the nipple and foster a bond between mom and baby. Our bodies also produce oxytocin when we’re excited by our sexual partner, and when we fall in love. That’s why it has earned the nicknames, “love hormone” and “cuddle hormone”. Being happier in life is that heart warm feeling. Having core values that align with your soul have a profound effect on everything we do and touch.
A capitalist society teaches us to buy, buy, buy, get more stuff and insulate ourselves from society. We have lost the true spirit somewhere. We have been led to believe that acquisitions, beauty and lots of goods are needed to be happy. When we approach death and start to feel the loss of self-form the inability to do things. We appreciate the personal experiences and people around us more. We remember the things that people did and those who gave us kindness. People who approach death with a sense of peace have served others and improved the planet.
What truly is important to you? Every act of kindness is significant and has more impact than you can ever imagine. A 2023 research paper looked at over 700 GP visits to colds and flu patients. Those patients who scored their GP 10/10 had a 50% increase in their immune response.1 Kindness changes our biology and physiology. Human touch to each other is a true connection, along with physical exercise kindness impacts our cardiovascular system. Research tells us that aggression and hostility reduce oxytocic and is a contributor to the hardening of the arteries.
How do you feel?
Another research paper looked a study group who watched a mother Teresa documentary demonstrating compassion to the homeless people. The results were that after two hours after the immune response increased S-IgA levels.2
The five side effects of kindness are:
1. Makes you happier and content
2. Slows aging
3. Good for the heart (heart-warming)
4. Improves relationships
5. Kindness is contagious
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Dr. David Hamilton
Dr. Julian Abdul