Got Serotonin? Be Kind. Feel Good. Repeat.
I grew up on a 71-acre serotonin farm. Well…technically it was a Kentucky Bluegrass sod farm, but the Jackson farm definitely produced massive amounts of serotonin.
Serotonin is a chemical in the human body, known as a neurotransmitter, that regulates mood in the brain. In other words, it makes you feel good.
So how did we produce serotonin at the Jackson farm? One act of kindness at a time.
Numerous studies have shown that receiving, giving, or even witnessing an act of kindness increases the production of serotonin in the brain.
Kindness was a way of life at the Jackson farm. My parents lived their lives in the service of others. I was taught the importance of kindness at a very young age. They were the best role models that I could have hoped for. Kindness was their default setting. It has become mine, as well. It’s a wonderful way to live.
My parents loved to share the fruits of their labor. Those fruits included all kinds of fun stuff – a swimming pool, trampoline, golf carts, old school 7-Eleven hot dog machine, soft serve ice cream machine, and punch machine ( Dad loved going to auctions). It was kind of like Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch. The only thing missing was Emmanuel Lewis and Bubbles the chimp.😂
One day a week, my parents extended an invitation to all of the local kids to come to the farm to swim, play on the trampoline, ride golf carts, and pig out on hot dogs, punch, and soft serve ice cream.
I’ll never forget the look of joy on their faces. Many of the children were underprivileged, so it really meant a lot to them.
My favorite memory of an act of kindness, involved my mom. She would pick up the kids that didn’t have transportation. She would also drive them home. I would usually ride along.
Mom noticed that one of the little girls was very self-conscious about her swimsuit. She wore a flannel shirt to conceal several holes in the back. Mom knew that the girl couldn’t afford a new swimsuit, so on the trip home one evening, instead of dropping her off at her house first, she asked her if she would like to come shopping with us. The little girl enthusiastically agreed.
When we got to the store, mom surprised the little girl, by buying her three brand new swimsuits. The girl’s eyes filled with tears, as she gratefully accepted my mom’s generosity.
The serotonin was really flowing that day. By performing an act of kindness, my mom’s brain produced more serotonin. By receiving the act of kindness, the little girl’s brain produced more serotonin. And me, witnessing this beautiful act of kindness, my brain also produced more serotonin. And we all felt joy. Extreme joy.
So by all means, start your own serotonin farm. It’s very easy to do – Be kind. Feel good. Repeat.