Spread the Love

Did you know that being kind to others can improve your health and well-being?
Hearing about, seeing, and doing acts of kindness is linked to producing a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin, also know as the ‘love hormone,’ causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and protects the heart. When we practice acts of kindness, we also release dopamine and serotonin which are all linked to reducing pain.
Here are three simple practices to help strengthen your compassion ‘muscle’ and spread kindness to those around you.
Loving-kindness meditation (LKM). Try carving out 15 minutes of your day to mentally send goodwill, kindness and warmth towards others through loving thoughts. One study found that even 10 minutes per day increased feelings of social connection and positivity.
Be kind to others. Generosity is contagious. Make a goal of being kind to others and watch the generosity spread. Smile at strangers. Pick up a volunteer gig. Support your coworker who needs some help. Share kind words with your neighbor. Hold the door for someone. Remind someone how much you appreciate them.
Practice gratitude. Identify things in your life that you are grateful for. Research shows that the feeling of thankfulness can improve your sleep, confidence, and lessen fatigue and depression. You could start be writing down one thing you’re grateful for each day. There are also apps that help you share happy moments and gratitude. Check them out here:
Simply Delicious Chocolate Truffles
Servings: 24
1 cup dark chocolate chips
6 ounces heavy cream
3 ounces liquor of choice
Cocoa powder for coating
1. Melt chocolate chips in a glass or ceramic bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the the bowl touch the water.
2. Once melted, take off the heat and stir in the cream and liquor. Mix well and set aside to cool.
3. Once cooled, place in freezer for 1 hour.
4. Place some cocoa powder in a bowl for the coating process.
5. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the chocolate mixture. Using your hands, roll it into a ball then roll it in the cocoa powder to coat. Store in a container in the fridge. Share with loved ones and enjoy!
Serving Size: 1 truffle 

Nutrition Information per Serving: 77 calories, 5.8 grams total fat, 3.7 grams of saturated fat, 7.3 grams carbohydrate, 0.7 grams fiber, 0.2 grams protein, 6.2 milligrams sodium, 9.0 milligrams potassium, 4.9 grams sugar
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