2020 will be remembered like no other year in our lifetime. We will share our experiences of when the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, how we suffered and how we grew, alone and together. Throughout the challenges, one of the things we are likely to look back on with fond memories is, of course, the kindness of others.
Perhaps kindness is something that was often taken for granted before. Now it is something we express our gratitude for, clapping for our carers every Thursday evening and sharing inspirational stories on social media. During COVID-19, kindness has radiated as we share hellos with the people we pass on our daily walks, fundraise for good causes and donate PPE to health and social care workers. Together we are helping the vulnerable, those in job uncertainty and those who cannot attend school. It is no surprise that the Mental Health Foundation have chosen Kindness as this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Value in Kindness
In a time when fear and anxiety levels are rising, there has never been a more important time to spread kindness. Being compassionate and generous offers a positive message of hope. It is also known to:
- reduce stress
- improve emotional wellbeing
- strengthen relationships
- build trust and safety in communities
In the post, I will share with you the ways in which we can all continue to share and spread kindness, this week and beyond. The first step involves being kind to number one…
Think Kind Thoughts
Kindness starts with how we treat ourselves. How you think about yourself affects how you act and behave, which then influences the perception others have of you.
Be kind to yourself. This may involve changing your inner narrative, describing your actions in a more positive way. It may mean giving yourself a break once in a while, or acknowledging your successes. Remember you deserve kindness too.
A smile can hugely influence how you feel and are perceived. Share those kind thoughts with a kind smile. It is the most simple way to share kindness and is a way to be kind to yourself and others.
When you don’t feel confident or brave, start with a smile. It will send those worrying thoughts off course and you’ll start to feel more relaxed.
When people smile, we perceive them as friendly, warm and approachable. Share the positive feelings and it is likely the person you smile at will be able to share the smile too.
Share Acts of Kindness
Opportunities for kindness are everywhere. Doing good things will make you feel good and they will they make the other person feel good, increasing the chances of you both going on to have a good day and be kind to others. Yes, there is scientific research that points towards kind people being happier!
From helping out a neighbour, paying someone a compliment or celebrating their success, to sharing your skills or knowledge, a simple act of kindness can go a long way.
By acknowledging kindness, we show our gratitude to the person and appreciation of the act itself, increasing the chance of more kindness and its benefits.
Saying ‘Thank You’ is an act of kindness is in itself, so the next time you recognise a good deed, consider sharing your genuine appreciation.
Let Kindness Spread
A small change can make a bigger change happen: kindness spreads and the effect can ripple, just like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings.
By being kind to yourself, smiling, sharing acts of kindness and acknowledging kindness along the way, you are making the world a kinder place.
Kindness isn’t just something to be grateful for during times of crisis. It doesn’t only matter during Mental Health Awareness week and it isn’t something that is weak or easy.
Kindness is powerful. It can change lives and it can save lives.Tweet
Why am I writing about kindness as a coach? I support others toward personal growth and quite simply, kindness matters. To find out what we are capable of, to overcome fears and to believe that we can achieve our goals, we need to look inward before we can grow outwardly. Being kind to ourselves enables us able to explore opportunities; being kind to others builds our connections with others for continued growth. Sending positivity, smiles and focus to every one of you this week and beyond…