Decrease Pain Through Kindness
Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Have you ever been on the receiving end of kindness? Ever notice how grateful and good you can feel afterwards? What if I told you that the health benefit is even greater if you were on the giving side? Surprised? Let me explain.
Serotonin is one of the hormones that is released throughout our body. It is part of the “feel good” hormones and can help mitigate anxiety and depression. It acts as a mood regulator and aids with learning, memory, and cognition as well. It is it’s ability to help with depression that has made it the target for many anti-depressants that people take. The antidepressants focus on interfering with the reabsorption of the serotonin, allowing to act for longer periods of time. You can see why it becomes such an important note that being kind can raise serotonin levels. What they found when studying the serotonin release, is that while all groups noted an increased amount of serotonin, the giver experiences a greater increase in serotonin levels than the receiver. We’re wired to help others.
Along with feeling better, kindness has also shown the ability to decrease pain. A study showed with brain scans of people in acute and chronic pain were able to deactivate the pain processing centers when they made a decision to donate blood or give away time and energy by helping others.
One of the coolest things about kindness that I have read is that it doesn’t just affect those giving and receiving. It has a similar effect on those who witness the act of kindness! This helps explain why it is so rewarding to see the uplifting stories on tik-tok and Instagram.
Remember this the next time you have a chance to help somebody. The reward you get may far outweigh the help they need.
Wang, Tilu, Ge, Jianqiao, Zhang, Hanqi, et al. Altruistic behaviors relieve physical pain. PNAS. Dec. 30, 2019;117(2).950–958.
Our McKinney Chiropractors, located near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Stonebridge Dr., know how to get you out of pain through better movement AND making sure you are getting the proper nutrients. We also teach our patients how to manage their stress for optimal health. When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain.