Kindness counts as self-love

Posted by Candace Cable in Life After Paralysis on February 02, 2017 # Quality of Life Grant Spotlight

Strong feelings and emotions make lasting chemical impressions in our brains and bodies, it’s a scientific fact that’s really just a little chemistry sprinkled here and there creating impact on our lives. So, if these are positive feeling, say, for example, feelings of appreciation and the emotion of gratitude, these “feelings” can create actual physical, mental and spiritual, strength, power and over all well being, resulting in feelings of fullness, abundance and joy. I personally enjoy looking through the binoculars of joy.

“When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, Yes, this is how I ought to feel.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner. Now here's the bonus thought on this concept of positivity, if anyone received your appreciation and kindness it shifts from them back to you, like a boomerang! Cool, total double whammy. “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

So, lately I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness. My brain is feeling heavy from the new President’s ideals, possible changes in laws that protect my health and a family member on the down side of health and just things. I’m feeling powerless. I have overactive excitatory neurotransmitters. You’ll understand that statement soon.

I’m feeling in need of a whole lot-of-kindness for me and really, in this country right now. So when I read about some science on feelings and emotions, where they come form and directing them for wellness, I wanted to know what I can do to express thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation, take back my personal “feel good” power and spray around me it like a fire hose.

Here’s some body-talk science low-down to understand and gain control of the flow of our emotional go go. It all begins in our brains at the hypothalamus, that links our nervous center to our endocrine, autonomic and behavioral functions. Transmission or communication from the hypothalamus to the body occurs when one nerve cell communicates with another at an intimate intermingling of projections from the two cells called a synapses or junction.

This word synapses ordinates from the word synaptein derived from the two Greek words syn –together and haptein-to clasp. It’s all about making the connection and moving the spark along. The electrical or chemical communication from one cell to another requires a secretion of a substance into that synaptic space to make the connection and it’s called a neurotransmitter.

There are two kinds of these secretions, our neurotransmitters, inhibitory and excitatory. My focus is on the inhibitory neurotransmitters. I know this sounds all wrong because to be inhibited means to put back, but trust me it’s exactly what you want. Sometimes words don’t mean what we think they mean and we have to re-think the words. Inhibitory neurotransmitters help create balance, connection, bonding, calmness, feelings of happiness, peace, love and understanding.

Two of the many inhibitory neurotransmitters and hormones we want free flowing through our synapses and blood stream are serotonin and oxytocin. Serotonin is all about well-being, a sense of accomplishment and happiness. It also helps to regulate moods, tempers, anxiety, and depression. It helps as a natural sleep aid and plays an important role in regulating such things as aggression, appetite, sexuality, body temperature and metabolism. Serotonin can also be found in foods, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, salmon and pineapples.

Oxytocin is all about creating emotions of love and connection and the strongest triggers for this neurotransmitter are touch and thought. It helps regulate feelings of separation and unworthiness. To increase Oxytocin hugging people and yourself is effective as is soaking in a hot bath or sharing meals with people.

To keep these neurotransmitters flowing it’s all about enhancing and supporting our neurotransmitters and hormones with exercise, sunshine, thoughts of appreciation, gratitude and thankfulness, self-care and eating clean and natural food.

Our neurotransmitter levels can be depleted by stress, negative thoughts, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drug (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage and overactive excitatory neurotransmitters. Lack of inhibitory neurotransmitters can also lead to depression.

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, "Our life is what our thoughts make it." I’m going to take this information, shape my thoughts, my actions and ramp up my inhibitory neurotransmitters to take back my well being and spread kindness along my way. You can take back your power.

Blessings to all, in joy


The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.