Being Nice Can Change Your Brain
Practice Kindness, Train Your Brain
Posted August 1, 2011
The Gift of ADHD was featured on MSNBC.com this week. The article documents the toll a child with ADHD can take on the mother's mental health and strategies for helping. You can check out the link at:
A tool that would be helpful for moms and kids like those featured in the article is a simple method for boosting mood that is free and has no side effects. Did you know that doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin? Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and well-being. Most of the anti-depressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to your brain. All of this means that doing nice things for other people changes your brain in ways that make you feel better.
I recently discovered a new tool for helping adults and children to take advantage of this all natural way of improving mood. My friend Dr. Robin Goldstein has written a series of books including MY NICE JOURNAL and MY NICE JOURNAL FOR KIDS to write down a nice thing you do each day for others.
Every day, we have opportunities to do something nice for someone. By making a conscious decision to do something nice daily, we'll all have a little more thoughtfulness, kindness, helpfulness, compassion and niceness on our minds.
Any kind act, statement or behavior that is simply about intentionally doing something nice that impacts your family, others, your community, the environment and the world in a positive way, matters.
By writing down nice things we do, we are likely to become more aware of doing nice things for others.
The more we practice doing nice things, the better we get at it. When we practice kindness, we're training our brains to get better at kindness as the brain learns that we want to think about being nice. When we help others and do kind acts, it causes our brain to release endorphins, the chemicals that give us feelings of fervor and high spirits - similar to a "runner's high." Doing something nice for someone also gives the brain a serotonin boost, the chemical that gives us that feeling of satisfaction and well-being.
The journals for kids are the same format, with a cover that has balloons on it. Inside, there is a brief explanation of what MY NICE JOURNAL for kids is for.
To order copies of MY NICE JOURNAL, please go to:
Being nice really matters!