November 13th is World Kindness and Kindness Day is something people talk about a lot this time of year, but it’s about more than just being nice. It turns out that practicing kindness is actually good for our health. In the research of Dr. Kelli Harding found out that kindness can improve patient lives. She says: “People who experience a friendly and loving environment are better off.”
People benefit from both giving and receiving kindness, so Harding recommends practicing it every day, and these are her tips on how to do this:
● Small gestures 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 how their day is going or have another car drive in front of you on your way to work. Harding says that not only does it boost your mood, but it also has a positive effect on your biology.
● Be kind to yourself – Start with the way you treat yourself and end negative self-talk forever.
● Reaching Out to Others – Do you know someone who is lonely or going through a difficult time? Grab it 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 Coworkers – Make it a goal to learn something personal about the people you work with on a daily basis. Think of the show “Ted Lasso” and how the friendliness of the main character has a positive impact on those around him.
● Be Generous with Hugs – “I definitely hug my children a lot longer,” says Harding after examining the power of loving touch. She advises treating relationships in the same way as diet and exercise – as something vital to your health.
● Think of someone who has shown you kindness – then send them a message or meet them for coffee to confirm how much their kindness means to you and makes you both feel good.
● Don’t make assumptions when someone is being rude – you never know what someone else is going through, there may be something that triggers their rude behavior. Remember the saying, “injured people hurt people,” and then move on in a friendly manner even if someone else won’t give it back to you.
HT: The Today Show (over the weekend)