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KINDNESS CONTAGION

Why watching a political “odd couple” enjoy each other’s company at a football game sparked smiles (and a social media storm).

The science of being kind.

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“When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

Ellen DeGeneres, a self-described "gay Hollywood liberal" defending herself against critics who didn't like to see her enjoying the company of former President George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, at a Dallas Cowboy's game.
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Why Being Kind Matters

  • Witnessing or performing acts of kindness produces oxytocin (love hormone) and dopamine (feel-good hormone) in our brains.
  • Kind people have lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and age at a slower rate.
  • Doing *or* observing kind acts, whether to strangers, friends, family or YOURSELF, increases happiness (Oxford University).
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“We all seek a path to happiness. Practicing kindness toward others is one we know works.”

Professor of psychiatry, Dr. Waguih William IsHak, Cedars-Sinai. Practicing kind acts is sometimes included in certain psychotherapy to boost mood.
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"President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her." President Bush's spokesperson to Fox News.

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