I find it really easy once I’m in a constant cycle of doing to ignore the impact that all this doing is having on me. Although I know that I also stop doing a lot of things that are good for me – eating properly, drinking enough water, sleeping enough. I also start to do things that aren't so good for me like drink too much alcohol, coffee and eat lots of chocolate! I also start to do more and more work and spend more and more time on the pc and less and less time with family and friends. I start to cancel meetings and I’m not able to be there for others in the way I normally am. I certainly spend less time doing things that sustain me like going out for a walk on the beach. The inevitable outcome is exhaustion and effectiveness just goes out of the window!
I’ll be touching on the many strategies I use for turning this exhaustion around and fending it off in the first place over the next week or so. I wanted to leave you this week with something I learnt from Dr David Hamilton at a recent workshop. It’s very easy to do but can positively counteract the impact all that constant doing is having on our bodies.
David has written ‘Why Kindness is good for you’. His recent article in You magazine 'Why it's cool to be kind' was based on the findings in the book. When I use the word findings I mean data and scientific evidence. I'm not even going to suggest I understand all the terminology – although after a day with David I understand a little more. In essence kindness is good for you because:
· Kindness stimulates increased amounts of oxytocin in both donor and recipient. And recent research shows that oxytocin protects the heart from damage. That is it interacts with cells along the walls of blood vessels and causes them to relax, which means blood pressure comes down.
· Compassion slows the aging process by stimulating the vagus nerve to stop inflammatory cytokine production.
Of course the book provides a whole load more of the research and data and more about what the opposite does for us too.
So next time someone suggests you do daily Random Act of Kindness or a daily Gratitude Log remember it might be as good for you as one of your 5 a day.