#104 How Being Kind Helps Your Immune System, Reduces Stress and Changes Lives with Dr David Hamilton

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By Dr Rangan Chatterjee: GP. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The world is changing and people are feeling scared. What we regard as normal has been completely flipped on its head. What we need now more than ever is kindness.

When you’re kind to someone, it’s not just that person who benefits. Kindness makes you happier. It’s good for your heart. It helps support your immune system. It slows ageing. It improves relationships. And it’s contagious – any small act of kindness you might perform is proven to have a ripple effect that reaches over 100 more people and I can’t think of a better message to put out there in these unique and uncertain times.

My guest this week is David Hamilton, a pharmacist-turned-author with a special interest in how the mind affects the body, and vice versa. We chat about his fascination with the placebo effect and the many studies that demonstrate how the brain actually changes – and the body heals – in response to certain information. We talk at length about oxytocin, which David calls ‘the kindness hormone’, and how it’s the main contributor to heart health outside exercise. And he explains why kindness is the opposite of – and antidote to – stress.

If you’re feeling powerless, or that any efforts you make at the moment are insignificant, I really hope that listening to this podcast will help. It was recorded back in February, before the scale of this pandemic could be known. And yet it feels timely to release it now, as a reminder of what is within our control, when so many other factors aren’t.

Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/104

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