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Using Kindness To Lift Your Mood

As part of our Kind2Mind Campaign we are sharing ways kindness can help you, so we invited Sarah Browning from Time For Kindness to share how kindness can lift your mood!

It can seem like there is a lot of darkness in the world right now. We hear about bad things happening near and far from home.

 

But it’s important to remember that the dark stuff isn’t the only story. There are lots of brilliant, positive things going on too. Kindness is one of those things.

 

It’s vital that we find ways to look after our wellbeing. There are two ways that kindness is especially helpful for that. One is carrying out acts of kindness yourself and the second one is noticing the kind things that other people are doing.

 

Being kind

Think about the last time you did something kind and remember how that made you feel. Just the other day I let someone go in front of me in the queue at the shop (they were buying fewer things than me). They were happy that they could get out of the shop quicker and that made me feel pleased too.

 

When you do something kind, it is good for the other person and it makes you feel good too. (And in case you’re wondering, that’s OK that you both feel better as a result. It doesn’t have to be just one-way to ‘count’.)

 

Researchers are also proving that being kind has positive effects on your physical and mental health. For example, studies show that doing kind things increases oxytocin and serotonin in your brain (the so-called ‘happy hormones’). So when you help a neighbour carry their shopping from the car or lend someone a phone charger, you are getting a boost of positive chemicals.

 

Seeing kindness around you

Noticing kindness is a really easy way to introduce small, positive actions that make a big difference to how you feel.

 

When you make a choice to look out for kindness, you will find lots of it. Every day, people all around us are quietly getting on with being kind to others, not making a fuss, just doing it.

 

But we have to make a conscious decision to make the effort to look because so much of the news is negative. Once we have decided there is a different way, we can see what most people are really like.

 

Tips for using kindness to lift your mood

  • Think about the accounts you follow and interact with on social media. Add some that show people being kind to each other. Ditch ones that show people being mean or putting others down.
  • Make a deliberate choice to look out for people being kind. Do you notice someone celebrating a friend’s success, holding a door open for a stranger or cooking tea for their family?
  • Do something kind for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a big or grand gesture. It could be as simple as telling your friend that you like their new trainers or letting an older person get on the train before you.
  • Be kind to yourself. That might mean spending the afternoon watching your favourite movie. Or it might mean giving yourself permission to ignore the negative, critical voice in your head. Whatever makes you feel good.

 

Over to you

So why not give kindness a try yourself? Do something kind. Make a deliberate choice to see kindness around you. You might be surprised with how much of a difference it makes.

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