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Kindness boosts your mental and physical health

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

On World Kindness Day lots of stories were told about the joys of giving and receiving affection: One was about a young man named Francis who is colorblind. A dozen or more of his college friends pooled their money and bought him a pair of EnChroma glasses so he could see the world in full color for the first time. Just watching the video of that on YouTube (search for "A colorful gift for Francis") makes you feel so good; imagine how those folks felt!

But as wonderful as that moment is, a study published in Personality and Individual Differences suggests that gestures of care (given and received) don't have to be that grand to boost your psychological well-being, including your sense of purpose and optimism. What's really important, the researchers say, is noticing smaller moments, so often overlooked, that are touched with kindness.

The health benefits of what they're calling "felt love" are well-documented. Studies show that a sense of purpose may reduce your risk of stroke and dementia, and boost memory and executive functioning, as well as help you keep your blood sugar under control! Optimists have better heart health and live longer than pessimists.

So take time to notice and acknowledge moments of caring: When a neighbor asks about your health; a colleague thanks you; or your partner shares a quiet moment holding your hand. And offer such small gestures of care to those you encounter throughout the day. World Kindness Day should happen 365 times a year.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

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