The Secret to Slowing Down Aging (Do You Even Need To?)
Date: 28 Oct, 2022
Although aging is such a natural and inevitable part of our beautiful life cycle, at times we all might feel like slowing this thing down a bit certainly wouldn't hurt (attention - this blog includes hidden humor).
Feeling content when approaching or in the midst of aging and accepting it as if we chose it, truly is of highest importance.
Magic cures from the beauty or medical industry for us to “reverse” or “stop” this process honestly don't sound too “healthy”, both mentally nor physically. Would you agree?
However, so many of us jump on the wagon and buy these serums or masks that promise to do not only that but so much more.
Surprisingly, the beauty products and supplements don't promise to make us happy or do the dishes when we're tired, although they might in the future, considering where we've been heading recently.
Now, but who wouldn't like to have at least one product that actually makes a difference to our appearance?
And that we can honestly say that we have.
Our Eyelash, Eyebrow & Hair Serum have proved themselves to be effective in increasing the life cycle of your hair, retaining its natural pigmentation, and stimulating keratin production, making your hair appear stronger, thicker, longer, and less prone to fallout or breakage.
Although they aren't promised to make you happy, the results from using these consistently most likely will. And you won't mind doing the dishes yourself after all.
Now, but we didn't come here to show you our products.
The second week of November is actually considered to be World Kindness Week, World Kindness Day being on the 13th of November and after having researched this topic for hours on end, we came across a truly fascinating study.
Kindness Slows Down Aging
Yes, you read that correctly! Now, let's explore…
Aging on a biochemical level is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are Free Radicals and Inflammation, both of which result from making unhealthy lifestyle choices.
A remarkable research now shows that oxytocin (that we produce through emotional warmth etc.) reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and so slows aging at source.
Incidentally these two culprits also play a major role in heart disease so this is also another reason why kindness is good for the heart.
There have also been suggestions in the scientific journals of the strong link between compassion and the activity of the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve, as well as regulating heart rate, also controls inflammation levels in the body.
One study that used the Tibetan Buddhist’s ‘Loving Kindness Compassion’ meditation found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body, mostly likely due to its effects on the vagus nerve.
Can you believe that?
Being a kind person actually can slow down the aging process!
We dug deeper and found out even more lovely surprises in this context…
Kindness Improves Relationships
This is one of the most obvious points. We all know that we like people who show us kindness.
This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and so we feel more ‘bonded’.
It’s something that is so strong in us that it’s actually a genetic thing. We are wired for kindness.
Our evolutionary ancestors had to learn to cooperate with one another.
The stronger the emotional bonds within groups, the greater were the chances of survival and so ‘kindness genes’ were etched into the human genome.
So today when we are kind to each other we feel a connection and new relationships are forged, or existing ones strengthened.
Kindness Supports the Immune System
Research shows that kindness (due to how it feels when you’re kind) boosts levels of an important immune system antibody known as ‘secretory immunoglobulin A’ (s-IgA for short).
One of the most amazing facts of this research is that the effect is turned on simply by watching kindness. Yes, ‘watching’ kindness.
It works because the immune boosting effect is due to how kindness feels, which is the same whether you do kindness, witness kindness or even imagine it!
The opposite is in how stress suppresses immune function and, similarly, that’s due to how stress feels.
And it doesn't feel good, right?
Whether you experience something stressful or whether you’re feeling stressed from watching negative online content, for example.
Our brain can't seem to differentiate 'real life' from 'imagined life'.
So, in addition to being kind, why not reduce your exposure to negative online content, or even reduce how much news you watch.
Increase the amount of inspiring content you watch instead. Watch and share videos and clips showing acts of kindness and compassion. Follow social media accounts that lift you up, that make you feel better. .
And this isn’t just a psychological feeling. It has immune boosting consequences!
Being Kind is Also Good for Your Heart
Oxytocin, which we now know is boosted by being kind, also expands blood vessels, which results in reduced blood pressure.
That’s why oxytocin is sometimes known as the cardioprotective hormone.
Just like damaging behaviors can be addictive, positive habits can be addictive, too. Which is somehow comforting to hear, right?
Once our body finds a source of oxytocin, it doesn’t forget it.
Kindness is one addictive habit you can start that will be appreciated by your heart, immune system and so much more…
Kindness Supports Mental Health
Lots of research shows that kindness increases happiness.
Studies that compare people asked to do more kindness versus people acting as normal show that those doing more kindness usually feel happier as a consequence.
Other research shows that kindness offers some protection against depression.
Studies comparing people who do regular volunteer work with those who don’t show much lower rates of depression in the volunteers.
The happiness-boosting and depression-countering effects seem to have their roots in the neurological effects of how kindness feels, but in addition kindness taps into something truly deep and even spiritual within us.
Brain imaging studies indicate that kind and compassionate feelings cause physical changes in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, biased to the left-hand side. That’s the portion of the brain behind and above the eyes.
This left hand portion is known to be an area associated with positive emotion.
With kindness and compassion practice, the area grows much as a muscle grows when we exercise it.
The result is that anything that area is used for becomes easier to access, just as anything that a muscle is used for becomes easier if it’s been strengthened through exercise.
And so kindness and compassion build this brain region, making positive emotion easier to access. How lovely, isn't it!
But kindness can be a spiritual act too. Being kind taps into something deep inside of us, a knowing that what we are doing is the right thing to do.
Perhaps that is the real root of why kindness feels good and perhaps, on some deep level, the physical effects on the body are nature’s reward to us for expressing the best in us.
All in all, kindness is a wonderful thing that we should surely practice and spread as much as we can. And look, how many benefits do we ourselves get by helping others? It's amazing!
We're built to help each other and support one another. We're wired for kindness.
Let's put it to work. It matters now more than ever!