Science Says ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Week Has Astonishing Health Benefits

Love this, it’s such a positive article. I need this, I think we all need it. Happy “Random Acts of Kindness” week!

Geesh, does the world ever need this week.

The global phenomenon that is Random Acts of Kindness week is upon us: February 12-18, 2017.

We as co-workers — nay, citizens — get to extend hands and open our hearts to participate in wonderfully arbitrary acts of kindness all week long.

If the idea itself isn’t enough to motivate you to participate, science tells us that you literally feel good if you engage in kindness.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has culled together a range of research that highlights an astonishing array of kindness-related health benefits.

Here are the top five reasons kindness can actually make you healthier:

1. Kindness fuels energy and esteem

Kindness produces serotonin which generates that feeling of calmness and even helps heal wounds. (Just like a Lionel Richie song!)

In one Berkeley study, almost 50 percent of participants reported feeling stronger and having more energy after helping others, with reports of greater feelings of calmness and enhanced self-esteem also predominant.

2. Kindness makes you happier

A Harvard Study showed that those who were altruistic and gave away money were, overall, the happiest.

And I thought that title was reserved for New England Patriots fans.

3. Kindness is good for your heart

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation reports:

Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health.

Don’t they say love hurts? Turns out the opposite is true!

4. Kindness helps you live longer

Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, writes:

People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44 percent lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.

Finally, a guilt-free way to skip the gym.

5. Kindness decreases lots of bad stuff

Studies have shown that developing a habit of kindness reduces pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure.

Chemistry plays a role once again. (No, not the Ryan Gosling – Emma Stone kind of chemistry).

People who practice kindness as a habit have 23 percent less cortisol (the stress hormone) and more of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels (thus lowering blood pressure).

So, it’s pretty clear that if we’re kind, kindness is kind to us.

Over the holidays, I shared 31 ideas to inspire you to commit your own random acts of kindness in the workplace .

If you’ve lost that loving feeling since then, here are 12 more ideas. These are some of my favorite suggestions from The City of Kindness, a coalition of organizations working collaboratively to inspire more kindness in the world:

  • Put a surprise note or drawing in your spouse’s or kid’s lunch.
  • Post a genuine compliment to three people on social media.
  • Allow someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush — just like you.
  • Let the person in line behind you at the supermarket go first.
  • Compliment your boss for something you admire but have never expressed.
  • Write a letter of recommendation for a colleague.
  • Forgive someone. And really mean it.
  • Strike up a conversation with the person standing alone at a party/work function.
  • Listen to a friend having a tough time — without offering advice.
  • Put money in an expired parking meter.
  • Leave a thank-you note for your mail carrier.
  • Don’t gossip.

You can also whip up your own ideas using a kindness generator provided by The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

And don’t forget the ultimate act of kindness: Share this article with your friends.

Breathing Exercises

Well these sound easy enough, and yes, I know about breathing exercises to calm anxiety and panic. I’ll try these and hope they work, because when anxiety hits me, there seems to be no stopping it.

Posted Jan 24, 2017
Austin Neill/

Whether you have occasional worries or full-blown anxiety attacks, deep-breathing is a must for maintaining optimal physical health and emotional well-being.

Deep-breathing is so vital because, in addition to helping you stay calm and avoid knee-jerk reactions, breathing is your best defense against panic attacks. If you’ve ever suffered one, you know how scary the experience can be. Maybe you thought you were having a heart attack, or worse—you may have felt like you were knocking on death’s door.

According to a study published by the Journal of Emergency Medicine, 30 percent of patients who seek treatment at emergency rooms with complaints of chest pain (and no evidence of coronary artery disease) suffer from panic disorder. When we’re stressed out, we tend to over-breathe (rapid, shallow breaths that resemble panting), a culprit in panic reactions, or under-breathe (hold our breath) which can cause dizziness or hyperventilation.

Studies show that deep breathing increases brain functioning, soothes the nervous system, cleanses the lungs, and promotes quality sleep. It’s a win-win, and these three techniques can help you get on the right side of calm.

1. Belly-breathing

Sit with your eyes closed and turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breath. Be aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

Step one: Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of three. Exhale for a count of four. The hand on your chest should remain relatively still, while the hand on your belly rises gently upward. Contract your abdominal muscles to exhale, breathing out through your mouth.

Step two: Concentrate on your breath and forget everything else. Your mind may be busy, and you may feel that this exercise is making your mind busier, but the reality is you’re becoming more aware of your mind’s busy state.

Step three: Resist the temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, and focus on the sensation of the breath. If you discover that your mind has wandered and is following your thoughts, immediately return it to the breath.

Repeat as many times as necessary until your mind settles on the breath.

2. One Minute Breathing

Start by breathing in and out slowly to become aware of your natural breathing rhythm. Let the breath flow in and out effortlessly, as you prepare your lungs for deeper breaths.

Step one: Inhale for a count of four.

Step two: Hold for a count of seven. (If you feel dizzy, hold for four until you can build up to seven.)

Step three: Exhale for a count of eight.

Repeat four times.

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing

Step one: Use your right thumb to close off your right nostril.

Step two: Inhale slowly through your left nostril.

Step three: Pause for a count of one.

Step four: Now close your left nostril with your ring finger and release your thumb off your right nostril.

Step five: Exhale through your right nostril.

Step six: Now, inhale through your right nostril.

Step seven: Pause for a count of one.

Step eight: Close off your right nostril with your right thumb.

Step nine: Breathe out through your left nostril.

Start slowly with one or two sets and gradually increase the number. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished.

Zai Aragon/Shutterstock

Besides developing a wonderful, calming habit, intentional focus on deep-breathing can mean starting your day in a mindful state. Remember, anxiety loathes action, so stay three steps ahead by inhaling the good, and exhaling the bad.

Positive rather than negative

Haven’t written anything in a very long time. Have not felt like it. Life’s been full of many anxiety provoking events. Doesn’t seem to be letting up ,by any means. Trying to decide to just go on despite events. Trying to just go on despite what’s been happening. I tell people to look at the positives in their lives and then be happy for them rather than be scared, anxious and depressed by the negative ones. Trying to take my own advice. Easier said than done, absolutely. But I’m going to try and also will try to come back to my bipolar1blog, my beloved blog that I really used to love to write. Can’t wait for things to be perfect, or even better, must start living again. There are few very bad things, my loved ones’ health conditions, as well as other things, however even in the midst of the bad, there are still many things for which to be thankful. So god help me, I plan to be thankful.

First aid but not as you know it: 6 simple ways to support someone with mental health

First aid but not as you know it: 6 simple ways to support someone with mental health

person with mental health bandaged up
(Picture: Mmuffin for

When it comes to first aid, most of us can apply a plaster or a bandage.

Those of us who’ve been on a first aid course can also put a sling on and even treat someone who’s choking, having an anaphylactic reaction or has fainted.

Within the work place, we’re even now trained to deliver CPR and use a defibrillator to manage life-threatening conditions.

But how many of us would know what to do if a colleague, friend or relative suffered a mental health crisis?

Some mental health conditions can stay completely hidden and go untreated.

And if you noticed someone behaving out of character, which could be a sign that they are developing a mental health condition, what could you do?

Here are six simple ways you could support them.

1. Start a conversation

Start informally by asking someone how they are, make it sound as though you’re really interested in knowing if they are OK.

If necessary, make sure you find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler)
(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for

2. Don’t make glib remarks

It’s surprising how many people think it’s helpful to say ‘pull yourself together’.

Would you say ‘just walk it off’ to someone with a broken leg?

Telling someone to ‘cheer up’ isn’t helpful either.

If someone is opening up to you, take them seriously, try to understand and empathise.

3. Really listen

You will gather a lot from not only what the person is saying but how they’re saying it.

Try not to judge them for saying things that (to you) sound irrational – this is a common symptom and a helpful sign that should not be brushed off.

Try not to offer solutions too quickly. Instead, ensure they feel heard and ask them what they think they need.

woman talking about her depression (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for
(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for

4. Dealing with any practical issues

A mental health crisis can be made worse by concerns about everyday matters such as paying bills, feeding pets or even cooking food.

Ask if there’s anything of this nature you can support them with.

5. Offer support

It is important if someone is experiencing mental health difficulties that they first see their GP – this can be extremely daunting.

Perhaps you could offer to go with them.

In a severe crisis of mania, psychosis or other extreme distress, the person may need emergency care in A&E, the NHS non-emergency number 111 is a good port of call if you’re unsure.

(Picture: Myles Goode)

6. Keep the conversation going

Make sure the person knows you’ll continue to be there for them.

Even if they get help from professionals, it will always be helpful to have another person they know they can turn to.

The understanding that mental health first aid is as vital as physical first aid is growing.

Prime Minister Theresa May is looking at offering every secondary school in the country mental health first aid training and developing new partnership with employers.

This cannot happen soon enough.

I Marched

I marched. I marched with you my sisters and my brothers, my daughters and my sons. I marched for mother earth’s rights, I marched for sanity, for our rights, human rights, women’s rights, the right to love whom we want, the right to have love triumph. I wore my heart on my sleeve, confident the marchers wouldn’t crush it. My blood ran thick and red and strong and pure! My anger against this satanic administration drove me, my love for my great country and it’s equally great people propelled me. Expect Us! We Are Legion! Don’t discount us, in four years you’ll be gone and we’ll still be here. We’ll undo the damage you’ve done and pick up the pieces and proudly go on!

Urgent Alert from International Bipolar Foundation: Replace ACA Before Repealing. 

 International Bipolar Foundation stands with public health experts and mental health advocates across the nation to urge Congress to preserve coverage and health benefits for Americans as the foremost priority in revising or repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). We urge our communities to join efforts to ensure that no one loses critical insurance or healthcare services.

The Senate is planning to pass a budget that will begin the process of repealing the ACA as soon as this Thursday, JANUARY 11. This will be the first step in taking health care away from people before having any plan to replace it.
“‘Replace, then repeal,’ is an essential strategy to assure that the 21 million Americans newly insured through the ACA continue to have health insurance to protect them in the face of medical emergencies and necessary routine care,” notes Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Executive Director of National Association of County Behavioral Health and Disability Directors and the National Association for Rural Mental Health. “It would be quite inhumane to suddenly drop these Americans from the insurance rolls. Such precipitous action also would have dire financial consequences for insurance companies providing ACA health insurance.”

“Millions of Americans affected by mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder need support and dependable healthcare,” says Eduardo Vega, IBPF senior policy advisor, “Repealing ACA without a replacement strategy puts 11 million Americans at risk of losing Medicaid coverage alone. Those who struggle with mental illness symptoms could have significant setbacks in their recovery if they were to lose or be denied coverage, and many more could be at risk of disability, financial distress or unemployment.”
Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators’ offices. Tell them we cannot take legislative or budget action to repeal ACA before replacing it.

Go to . Tell them we cannot take legislative or budget action to repeal ACA before replacing it.
The mission of International Bipolar Foundation is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education. 
International Bipolar Foundation

858-598-5967 |

International Bipolar Foundation

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Cuddling is a Cost Effective, Drug-Free Solution To Treating Opioid Dependent Babies

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