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The Biology of Kindness: Six Daily Choices for Health, Well-Being, and Longevity by Immaculate De Vivo and Daniel Lumera

The Biology of Kindness: Six Daily Choices for Health, Well-Being, and Longevity by Immaculate De Vivo and Daniel Lumera

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Translated from the Italian by Fabio De Vivo

From MIT Press:

How kindness—and other prosocial behaviors toward others—can help us live longer and healthier lives.

The science is in: being good is actually good for you. In this bracingly original book, The Biology of Kindness—the first in a trilogy on the topic of daily wellness—the science of mindfulness and the findings of biology come together to show how kindness and optimism improve overall well-being in profound, organic, and demonstrable ways. Daniel Lumera, an expert in meditation and mindfulness, and Immaculata De Vivo, a preeminent researcher in molecular epidemiology, outline a revolutionary approach to health, longevity, and quality of life—and explain the scientific evidence that supports their work.

Identifying five fundamental values—kindness, optimism, forgiveness, gratitude, and happiness—and describing six essential strategies for cultivating these values—relationships, nutrition, physical activity, meditation, music, and connection with nature—De Vivo and Lumera chart a practical course for pursuing a long, healthy, and happy life. Along the way they provide the scientific data that reveal the impact such behavior has on biology, particularly on telomeres, the parts of DNA that serve as biomarkers of aging. While DNA is mostly immutable, telomeres are influenced by our choices, and The Biology of Kindnessoffers incontrovertible evidence that what is commonly ascribed to “spiritual” well-being has a clear and direct impact on physical health, helping to buffer premature aging and decrease the incidence of chronic disease.

At a time when life seems to be ruled by a desire to get “everything and immediately,” Lumera observes, there is a compelling case to be made for the discipline of devotion, dedication, and passion—for the good of the body as well as the soul.