Kindness is something we can all benefit from. It helps others feel good when we’re kind to them and it helps us feel good too.
Here in Winnipeg, The United Way started something called Conscious Kindness Day. That day is today, May 15, 2019 and the intention of it is to encourage others to be kind to each other and ourselves.
They even provided a quick list of ideas that you can use to be kind today (and every other day).
We all deserve kindness from one another and it can even help improve our mental health and sense of self-worth.
Why is kindness important?
Random Acts of Kindness has released information on just how kindness affects us. Being kind to others releases serotonin (the feel-good hormone), increases our happiness and pleasure in life and it increases our energy and lifespan. Kindness also reduces pain, stress, anxiety, depression and lower blood pressure. So being kind doesn’t only feel good, it really does good for us too. Random Acts of Kindness even says that kindness in contagious, so being kind encourages us to continue to do so and it encourages those around us to be more kind too. There is also a great short video on their website that talks about kindness too.
Kindness is about sympathy and helping others however you can. Whether that be helping someone in need or being there for someone who is struggling and talking with them, kindness is necessary to help us get through difficult times in our lives.
How can I be kind?
Kindness comes in many different forms. Helping someone shovel their car out of the snow, stopping in to see a relative you have visited in awhile, or even just sitting and listening to someone you love are all examples of kindness.
It can be big or small, but it always helps everyone involved feel a little bit better.
So take a friend out for coffee and a donut to show how much you appreciate them, or go for a walk with the cousin you haven’t seen in a few years. You can even give a small piece of your lunch to someone who may be hungry.
All acts of kindness affect people differently, and there are different levels of what kindness can be for everyone. Never think that any act of kindness is too small - because they all count.
I’ll give you an example.
A few weeks ago, I was having a bit of a tough time. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was stressed out and busy and really just having an off day. As I was going to class that day, I stopped at a Tim Hortons. I pulled up in the drive-thru and ordered my tea. I drove up to the window and offered my debit card for payment when the team member told me my tea had been paid for by the man in the truck ahead of me. I became inexplicably happy in that moment.
This was the smallest gesture. But it warmed my heart and made me feel much better that morning when I may have otherwise not felt so great. Ever since then I truly believe that everyone should experience this at least once. I had not met this person, or even really looked at them except through their sideview mirrors, but they still made an effort to do something that would help another person feel better. And I am grateful for that.
So be kind. We may not all have lots of money to donate or time to help out. But when we take the time we do have and make the effort to make kind choices, we all feel better.