Just be nicer - scientists say it's the easiest way to improve your health.
I know that all of you are nice people and some of you are really 'into' book challenges so today I thought I'd bring you a new challenge.
According to a new book - supported by the latest scientific evidence - being kind to others has a direct and positive effect on our bodies.
Dr David R Hamilton says kindness changes the brain, improves the health of our hearts, strengthens the immune system and even helps us live longer.
He's written a book on the subject called WHY KINDNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU, and in it he gives an explanation - it's down to evolution.
Dr Hamilton says "Half a million years ago if you wanted some food, you had to go and get it. It would have been a very hostile environment (Has he never shopped on a Saturday? Now that's hostile) with predators (make that people with shopping trolleys) around - so those people living in groups stood a much better chance of thriving and surviving."
Kindness would have helped groups bond and flourish. The unkind would have died out. Natural selection meant that the 'kindness' genes were the ones that survived to be passed on from one generation to the next.
He adds "Those genes are present in us all today."
Which leads me to my challenge.
Last year, a group of 20-somethings launched THE KINDNESS OFFENSIVE, a social experiment, the aims of which are "To have fun, be kind and inspire as many people as possible to do the same."
Co-founder Benny Crane says "Our message is Be Kind - it costs nothing, makes you feel great and cheers people up."
Most studies show that the significant benefits of kindness kick in after about three weeks. Carry out one good deed a day (What, only 1?) for the next 21 days and keep a record. Here are some suggestions from Dr Hamilton to get you started .....
- Tell someone in a shop or restaurant that they're doing a great job.
- Give the one you love breakfast in bed.
- Buy an extra parking ticket and leave it on the ticket machine for the next person to find.
- Give blood.
- Write a thank-you card to someone.