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Why being kind could help you live longer

Source | www.bbc.com | Lauren Turner

What can kindness do for you? Give you a warm glow perhaps, or a feeling of well-being? While that may be true, scientists and academics at a new research centre say it can do much more – it can extend your life.

The staff at UCLA’s Bedari Kindness institute are ready for the jokes.

“We look at the scientific point of view. We aren’t sitting around in circles, holding hands. We’re talking about the psychology, the biology, of positive social interactions,” says Daniel Fessler, the institute’s inaugural director.

The notion of kindness has made headlines recently.

It was a key part of former president Barack Obama’s eulogy of veteran US Democrat Elijah Cummings, following his death last month.

“Being a strong man includes being kind. There’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion,” he said. “There’s nothing weak about looking out for others. You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.”

And then there was Ellen DeGeneres calling for kindness when speaking about her surprising to some friendship with George W Bush: “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. It doesn’t matter.'”

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