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Michel: Kindness is good for your health

“Use kind words, Olivia,” my daughter Monique said to her 5-year-old. “Speak with a kind voice.”

And after a couple of tries, Olivia’s conversation with her younger sister met with Monique’s approval.

Whether or not she realizes it, by guiding Olivia into gentle and compassionate behavior, Monique is teaching her daughter a character trait that will bring many benefits.

Studies have shown that an act of kindness increases the production of serotonin in the brain and has a positive effect on the immune system.

Not only does the initiator of kindness benefit, research shows that the recipient experiences the same health benefits.

In addition, people observing acts of kindness experience increased serotonin and strengthened immune systems as well.

Researchers at Harvard showed a film about Mother Teresa’s work among the poor to 132 students.

After viewing, the students showed a marked increased level of Immunoglobin A, the antibody that plays a critical role in our immune system.

And finally, from the book I go to first every morning, is the admonition from Proverbs 11:17. “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind.”

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.