Science tells us that being kind is good for us, it releases serotonin and dopamine which make us feel satisfied and good overall, we can experience an increase in oxytocin, the hormone that makes us feel connected and trust each other more. It can reduce cortisol our stress hormone helping us to feel more relaxed. Why argue with the science, it is telling us to be kind to each other…
Kindness helps strengthen social ties, give us a sense of community and we need all the help we can get right now, with social distancing, no touching, masks hiding our faces and expressions. Most of us are feeling very disconnected from our community, unsafe and stressed. Can we say we have remembered to be kind to those around us, what was the last random act of kindness that you remember? In these times of fear and uncertainty it is important to be reminded that we do still live in a world of love and kindness.
A random act of kindness, may not change the world, bring world peace, end racism but it may bring a smile to someone’s face, make someone’s day, give someone the courage to reach out for support. Fear can wreak havoc on our mental health, however one small gesture, one small act of kindness could mean the world to someone. It can confirm that there is still love and kindness in these uncertain and strange times we all find ourselves trying to survive and navigate.
What are acts of random kindness? they are not grand gestures; they are subtle and sometimes unconscious to those making them. Some examples are:
- Look strangers in the eye, smile and say “Hello”.
- Hold the door open for someone and smile.
- Pick up litter in public spaces, don’t assume someone else will
- Reach out to that friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, check in with them
- Bring in your neighbor’s bin for them
- Write a nice phrase on a sticky note for a colleague or flat mate.
- Offer to babysit for an exhausted parent that you know
While it is great to show kindness to others, it is just as important to be kind to yourself and practice some self-compassion. Treat yourself the way you would a family member or close friend. Ask yourself am I been supportive of myself? Am I being kind to myself? Am I being patient with myself? Make sure you remember to treat yourself, practice self-care, allow yourself to recharge, regain your sense of balance.
Starting now, think about how you can show someone an act of kindness to improve both their day and your own…..