The Chemistry of Kindness

Introduction

YouTube Video


Kindness is the quality or state of having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Can you think of a world where kindness didn’t exist? Besides the feeling you get when someone treats you with kindness, there are actual health benefits to be gained.

Composition of ...

  • serotonin (C10H12N2O)

  • endorphins

  • oxytocin (C43H66N12O12S2)

  • DHEA (C19H28O2 )



Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

        Serotonin is one of the main chemicals produced in the giver, receiver and anyone who witnesses an act of kindness. While 90% is found in the gut, and only the last 10% is found in the central nervous system, it greatly affects and regulates mood, appetite, sleep patterns, and some memory and learning. There is also evidence that anxiety-related personality can be a result of where, when and how many serotonin transporters neurons deploy. Therefore, serotonin is a major component of many pharmacological antidepressants. It is believed that defective signaling of serotonin in the brain may be the root cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well.

Oxytocin, which evokes feeling of contentment, calmness, security - when with a mate - and reductions in anxiety, is another one of the chemicals produced from kindness. In addition to protecting against stress, oxytocin lowers inflammation, increases generosity, and strengthens your immune system. It is also known that it plays part in breastfeeding and in contractions during the second and third stages of labor.


Chemistry's Role

Serotonin is produced from tryptophan, but only 10% is used in the nervous system. tryptophan can only come from the body and can’t be made in a lab. Oxytocin, on the other hand, is produced in the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary gland. Oxytocin receptors are in areas of the brain associated with social memories.

Background Research

Even though kindness may seem different to everyone, Mark Twain put it perfectly when he said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Resources

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA1qgXovaxU

what chemicals are released

http://drdavidhamilton.com/the-5-side-effects-of-kindness/

lowers blood pressure

http://www.thenewhumanism.org/authors/rick-heller/articles/loving-kindness-on-the-brain

oxytocin receptors

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin

chemical formula, location, function/effects

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydroepiandrosterone

chemical formula and function

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

chemical formula, function/effects, where it is stored/made

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kind

Definition of kindness


About the Author
Kali Ann Taylor loves keeping her life busy and filled with great friends and great music. She spends time every week as a worship leader at her youth group. She is currently taking voice lessons and recently began learning the guitar to play while she sings. Kali Ann also keeps busy maintaining her GPA, and off course, she always loves to spend time outside with her amazing friends, family, and dogs.
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