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His and Her Bonding

Special Needs for Friendship

This story from Be the Best That You Can Be shows how much offering friendship and emotional support benefits the giver as well as the recipient.

Friendship Circle pairs teen-aged volunteers with kids who have special needs. They spend an hour or two a week hanging out. According to the story,

As one teen volunteer phrases it, "When I am with these children I feel calm and soothed. I know there are no judgments being passed. I know they don't care what I look like...together we live in the moment, enjoying each second of each other's company".

That calm, soothed feeling comes from the release of oxytocin. When we engage in comforting, nurturing behavior, our brains release oxytocin. It's the same mechanism that releases oxytocin to a mother's body while she breastfeeds, but it's something anyone can enjoy.

According to John, Friendship Circle is a project of "the Chabad-Lubavitc, "a branch of Hasidic Judaism with a strong emphasis on emotional connection, community interaction, and the integration of good acts with spiritual observance."

This shows the way that spirituality can connect with the body to provide real-world experiences of joy.