Kindness at home, at work and to ourselves
We've all experienced little acts of kindness. Whether it's a warm smile from a stranger, a comforting hug from a friend, or unexpected praise from a colleague...they can make our day that little bit brighter.
Kindness can have positive effects on our relationships by reducing the emotional distance between two people. We like people who are kind to us. Positive relationships and kindness are at the very heart of our wellbeing. It is sometimes a lack of kindness which can lead to isolation and loneliness, many calls to Breathing Space testify to this.
Kindness and mental wellbeing
Acts of kindness can have benefits for givers as well as receivers. We've all experienced that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you've helped someone. There's even a chemical reaction going on in our brains which explains this 'elevated feeling' which makes us feel good.
Research shows that helping others has benefits to our own mental and physical health. For instance, one study showed that performing acts of kindness may help people with social anxiety feel more positive*. Other studies have shown physical benefits through the production of hormones and other biochemicals which may have protective effects on the body such as lowering blood pressure.
Join the journey
We've developed a calendar with suggestions for 52 acts of kindness for the year. Some ideas are very simple while others demand more effort, thought and work. You'll also have your own ideas around the home and workplace, and indeed ways in which you can be kind to yourself.
Please take part in the conversation on twitter at #kindness52 and let us see some of the small steps we can all take on this kindness journey. If you'd like a free badge, email us your name and address.
*Motivation and Emotion, Dr. Lynn Alden and Jennifer Trew