November 13th marked World Kindness Day and being kind is something people talk a lot about this time of year, but there’s more to it than just being nice. It turns out, practicing kindness is actually good for our health. InDr. Kelli Harding’sresearch, she’s found that kindness can improve patient’s lives. She says, “People who experience kind and loving environments fare better.”
People get a health benefit from both giving and receiving kindness, so Harding recommends practicing it every dayand these are her tips for doing it:
- Little acts of kindness can make a big difference- There are hundreds of opportunities to practice kindness every day, just think small. Look your barista in the eye and ask her how her day’s going or let another car go in front of you during your commute. Harding says it not only boosts your mood, it has a positive ripple effect on your biology, too.
- Be kind to yourself- Start with the way you treat yourself and stop negative self-talk for good.
- Reach out to others- Know someone who’s lonely or going through a tough time? Reach out and offer your companionship, they won’t always accept the invitation, so keep trying to connect with people and someone will.
- Get to know your co-workers- Make it a goal to learn something personal about the people you work with every day. Think of the show “Ted Lasso” and how the main character’s kindness has a positive influence on those around him.
- Be generous with hugs- “I’m definitely giving my kids much longer hugs,” Harding says after researching the power of loving touch. She advises treating relationships the same way you treat diet and exercise - as something critical to your health.
- Think about someone who’s shown you kindness- And then send them a note or meet them for coffee to acknowledge how much their kindness means to you and it’ll make you both feel good.
- Don’t make assumptions if someone’s being unkind- You never know what someone else is going through, there may be something triggering their unkind behavior. Remember the saying “Hurt people hurt people” then proceed with kindness, even when someone else isn’t returning it to you.
Not sure where to start? We have some ideasHERE.