In many traditions the benefits of goodness are talked about. However, today, although goodness has a good reputation, it has been relegated to a second or third level. Goodness is not fashionable. In general, it seems that competitive people who do anything to achieve their goals are best seen.. Kindness, in terms of caring for others, is seen as something beautiful and full of merit, but to carry it out when we have time or on exceptional occasions.
First, what is meant by goodness? And, above all, what happens when studying from science? The results are surprising and goes beyond theories that many would find mystical, since practicing goodness modifies our genetic expression. Throughout the article we will explain what we mean by kindness and the results of the latest scientific research. Welcome to goodness!
- 1 What is goodness?
- 2 Goodness under the magnifying glass of science
- 3 Findings
- 4 Conclusion
What is goodness?
First of all, we can explain what we mean when we refer to this concept. Ricard Davidson, a doctor of neuropsychology, relied on Buddhist psychology to carry out his study. From Buddhism, there are two key concepts related to goodness: love and compassion. Love consists in aspiring to the happiness of all beings and to the causes of their happiness. Compassion is the aspiration for the liberation of suffering from all beings and the causes of suffering. Thus, goodness can be described as the desire that all beings be happy and free from suffering.
Goodness under the magnifying glass of science
Davidson has brought goodness to be studied through science. Encouraged by the Dalai Lama, Davidson obtained some surprising findings. It is possible to say that the surprise we took in the most western countries, but in those where goodness has been practiced for centuries, the results were obvious. At least obvious at the behavioral level, because also they found that goodness is expressed at the level of brain changes.
Davidson states that "I made the promise to Dalái Lama that he would do everything possible so that kindness, tenderness and compassion were at the center of the investigation. Words never named in any scientific study". Thus, he got to work to see how he could change a person's goodness, both behaviorally, emotionally and cerebrally.
Davidson differs empathy from compassion. The author defines compassion as "A superior stage is to have the commitment and tools to alleviate suffering. The neurological circuits that lead to empathy and compassion are different". The researcher ensures that goodness can be entered at any age. Even if practiced in children and adolescents, it affects better academic performance and healthy emotional health.
Through the Buddhist meditation centered on compassion, very significant results were obtained. However, before exposing these results it is possible to explain what this meditation consists of. In summary, it is about imagining a loved one in a situation of suffering and cultivating the aspiration to free her from that suffering. Later this practice is extended to neutral people and finally to those who arouse negative emotions.
Davidson says that this type of meditation, in the first place, reduce bullying in schools. As mentioned before, too improves emotional and physical health. On the other hand, one of the most interesting data they found, as described by the author himself, "One of the most interesting things I've seen in the neural circuits of compassion is that the motor zone of the brain is activated: compassion enables you to move, to relieve suffering". The best thing about it is that it can be practiced. We can all do it.
Before investigating compassion, Davidson also investigated emotions. Ensures that Through emotions, brain structures can change in just two hours. Describe that "We took meditators to the laboratory; and before and after meditating we took a blood sample to analyze gene expression". They observed that the brain areas in which there was inflammation or tendency to it, fell significantly, so it was a very useful finding to treat depression.
As seen, the practice of compassion improves our quality of life; decrease our levels of suffering and raise our happiness. Caring for others and reducing our vision only in us, makes us put aside our ego for a moment and observe reality more coherently. That is, not only do we exist and our needs. When we are the center of our life, the only thing that comes to our mind are worries, even insubstantial complaints.
Even so, we must not forget that compassion also includes ourselves. It is a balance between us and others. When we only care about ourselves, our suffering increases. When we care for others, our happiness increases. Not only do the "mystics" say it, but science has also spoken.