World Kindness Day was celebrated last Friday 13th November, as it is each year and although it is NOT currently a day affiliated with any religion or political movement, over 28 nations participate in this unofficial holiday and here at Team FIT, we believe it should be an EVERYDAY occurrence!
KINDNESS is a human condition – FACT.
Another important consideration is that people who are constantly kind produce 23% less Cortisol, which is the stress hormone – and because of the lower levels of stress, people who practice kindness age slower than the average population – FACT.
So there really is a double-whammy benefit of practising kindness, so here are our Top 10 Tips for demonstrating KINDNESS – at home &/or at work:
1. As the word KINDNESS is derived from the Middle English word ‘kindenes’ meaning ‘courtesy’ it makes sense that tip no. 1 should talk about POLITENESS. So, remember your please and thank yous! They say common courtesy, just like common sense, isn’t very common – so make it so today and ensure you are POLITE to everyone you interact with.
2. They say that to help others, you first need to help yourself. So, put your own oxygen mask on FIRST and start the day with YOU. Focus a few minutes each morning on being your own publicity agent and celebrate all the good qualities and traits you possess that make you a KIND person.
3. Commit to a Random Act of Kindness today – pay a compliment to a friend or loved one; smile at a stranger; hold a door open for someone; give up your seat on a crowded train or bus; buy a homeless person a hot drink or sandwich; complete a colleague’s task for them, without telling them. GIVING without expecting anything in return is a very KIND thing to do for someone – in both business and life.
4. HUG someone today and do so for longer and tighter than normal – whether that’s a friend, work colleague or loved one. If you have to remain socially distant, then ensure that virtual hug is as creative and expressive as possible!
5. This year, World Kindness Day celebrates EMPATHY as its annual theme. Empathy is defined as ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person’ So, now is a good time to highlight the importance of being KIND and CONSIDERATE towards people of other religions, genders, race and geographies – especially at this time of global challenge and change.
6. Research shows that SELFLESS ACTS OF KINDNESS don’t just help the person on the receiving end – indeed, psychologist Lisa Damour says that altruistic behaviour activates the very same regions in the brain that are enlivened by rewards or pleasurable experiences. Remarkably, helping others also causes the brain to release hormones and protein-like molecules, known as neuropeptides, that lower stress and anxiety levels. So, here’s the bottom line…DOING GOOD IS GOOD FOR YOU! So, go do a good deed today and notice how much better you FEEL!
7. Get BAKING (or COOKING) for a friend or neighbour or anyone you know who would appreciate a home-cooked surprise right now. It doesn’t have to be a Michelin star meal or a Mary Berry fondant fancy – even some no-bake cake or a dozen chocolate Rice Krispie treats would be a KIND way to show how much you care (and your friends &/or neighbours will love you for it!)
8. TAKE A HIKE! Gather a few friends or colleagues and enjoy some fresh air together for an hour or so. Exercise, of any nature, is good for the soul – it releases those feel-good endorphins and raises our mood, so that showing KINDNESS comes much more easily to us.
9. WRITE A LETTER – BY HAND! Handwritten letters have become a sort of lost art, but there is nothing like receiving a handwritten note that shows care, intention and the reasons why someone loves and appreciates you. Think of the colleagues, friends and family members you cherish and WHY you love them so, then let them know by sending a handwritten note expressing your GRATITUDE for them. Your KINDNESS will be very welcomed and helping others to FEEL GOOD about themselves and the world around them is what being kind is all about.
10. MAKE A MANTRA! There are trillions of amazing quotes about KINDNESS out there – daily mantras that you can recite each morning &/or night as a way to develop a positive mindset and create more happiness (and spread the kindness) in your life. Here are a few of my favourites – hope they become yours too….
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain)
“Where there is kindness there is goodness, where there is goodness there is magic” (Cinderella)
“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” (Theodore Roosevelt)
“I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself and I have found that kindness is the best way” (Lady Gaga)
“Kind words can be short and sweet, but their echoes can be truly endless” (Mother Teresa)
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” (Robert Louis Stevenson)
“Kindness is lighting someone else’s torch with your own inner flame” (Martin Luther King)
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind” (Caroline Flack – RIP ❤)
Until next time – stay safe and be KIND!