Posted by Gemma Birch 243 Days Ago
We all know what kindness is. We have experienced showing kindness and receiving kindness. It’s small things like making a coffee for a co-worker, helping someone with their bags, letting someone out of a junction and then you have your big gestures of kindness such as someone listening to you through your troubles and being there for you, a written letter of appreciation and presents at certain occasions. How many of these examples have you done or received? Do you take the small or big gestures of kindness for granted or are you aware of how many times someone shows kindness to you throughout the day?
It feels great when someone appreciates your act of kindness and you feel appreciated by someone showing an act of kindness.
Did you know, it’s also fantastic for your emotional wellbeing, mental health and physical health? Acts of kindness can reduce stress and make you a happier person.
So we know it makes us feel good, but what are the health benefits to showing kindness?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, the physical benefits are…
Positive emotions reduce stress and boost our immune system helping fight off diseases.
Negative emotions such as anger, hostility and aggression have an impact on our mind and body. It changes the way we view the world. Going on to our next point…
Many people don’t realise the impact that a different perspective can have on their outlook on life.
Helping others in need, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can provide a real sense of perspective and make you realise how lucky you are, enabling you to stop focusing on what you feel you are missing – helping you to achieve a more positive outlook on the things that may be causing you stress.
Studies suggest in older people that those who support other people live a longer and more purposeful life.
Research reveals that doing good deeds, or kind acts, can make socially-anxious people feel better. For four weeks, the University of British Columbia researchers assigned people with high levels of anxiety to do kind acts for other people at least six times a week. The acts of kindness included things like holding the door open for someone, doing chores for other people, donating to charity, and buying lunch for a friend. The researchers found that doing nice things for people led to a significant increase in people’s positive moods. It also led to an increase in relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. 
“People who engage in kind acts become happier over time,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person — more moral, optimistic, and positive,” she says.
Think about your daily routine or what happened today. Did you hold the door for someone? Maybe hold the lift door longer for someone to get in, did you smile at a stranger? What have you done for someone else’s benefit today?
What could you do more of?
What has someone kindly done for you today?
These simple questions may make you realise how much you do for others, how much more you need to do for others.
My counselling approach is person-centred. I believe you are the expert on you, but life likes to surprise us from time to time which throws us off balance, and we need help and guidance to get us back on track. I also use mindfulness methods when suitable to the client.
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