The Most Valued Trait in a Potential Partner? Kindness

Kindness Nikki Harper – What would you say is the most important trait you’d look for in a partner, if you were single? Good looks? Money? A sense of humor? All of the above?

Sure, all of the above would be a good start – why not? But researchers at the University of Swansea have found that one often overlooked trait actually tops the polls in what people want from their ideal partner: kindness.

In a fascinating experiment, researchers surveyed 2700 college students from around the world, inviting them to spend a fixed budget of imaginary “mate dollars” on “buying” more or less of eight key characteristics/traits: Continue reading “The Most Valued Trait in a Potential Partner? Kindness”

Kindness on Purpose: A Revolution in Australian Schools

kindnessNikki Harper – What if, from early childhood onwards, every child was taught – in school, every day – to be kind? What if those daily lessons and reflections continued right through to high school graduation? What kind of effect would that have on the next generation, and would it revolutionize our levels of empathy towards one another?

Katrina Cavanagh, a therapist working with children and adults who have suffered trauma, believes that it would. What’s more, she has designed and implemented an incredible program, currently used in many schools across Australia, which aims to do just this. The “Kindness on Purpose” program aims to increase empathy in children, thereby decreasing bullying and aggression, and reducing the risk and impact of anxiety and depression in kids and teens. Continue reading “Kindness on Purpose: A Revolution in Australian Schools”

The Best Friend Ever

maryMary O’Malley – I don’t know what I would’ve done over the years without my friends, the people whom I could be completely real with and together share life’s joys and pains. And research has now shown that with good friends, we actually live longer.

But there is another friend we have searched for our whole life and have rarely found. And that is becoming our own best friend. We are much more skilled in being a friend to our friends than we are at being a friend to ourselves.  In fact, we are skilled in being the opposite. If you were sitting in a restaurant and a person in the booth behind you was saying the same things, which you sometimes say to yourself, you would get up and leave! Continue reading “The Best Friend Ever”

Can Kind, Loving Thoughts Slow the Biological Aging Process?

kindnessNikki Harper – We all know that kindness and compassion are good things, and most of us probably try to be kind and compassionate whenever possible. But what if the focused intent behind kind and loving thoughts could actually benefit your physical health as well as your psychological wellbeing?

A recent study from the University of North Carolina suggests exactly this. The study, published this spring in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, found that regular practice of Loving Kindness Meditation appears to slow down the rate of attrition in telomeres, which are a vital part of the biological aging process. [1] Continue reading “Can Kind, Loving Thoughts Slow the Biological Aging Process?”

Selfish or Self-Full

maryMary O’Malley – Most of the time growing up, I lived in the same bedroom with an older sister who I experienced as a bully. She let me know through her words and actions that I was a bother, that I was less than her and my needs didn’t matter.

I have healed most of the stories I took on while undergoing that kind of daily heartache and pressure.  One of the core ones was that I was less than everybody else. I now know I’m not less than nor am I better than anybody else. I am simply who I am and that is enough.

Another deep wound I took on during that time was that I was stupid. I had a B+ average in high school but she was salutatorian of her high school class and graduated summa cum laude from college. With those kinds of accomplishments, she let me know over and over again that I was not her equal. And I’m not. I don’t have the academic intelligence she has but I finally realized I carried the kind of intelligence that truly makes a difference in life and that my intelligence is heart savvy. Continue reading “Selfish or Self-Full”