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The Power of Kindness

This week sees Random Acts of Kindness Day (on 17th Feb), where we are encouraged to do small things that bring brightness to other people’s days. It doesn’t have to be something monumental or ground-breaking – in fact, that type of effort is largely unattainable and certainly not sustainable in the long term.


Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) are small things that make a big impact – like holding open a door for someone in a rush, donating a tin of beans to the local foodbank, giving someone your car park ticket that still has time left on it, or putting out a neighbour’s rubbish bin - all of these things are fairly inconsequential in the big scheme of things, but could be the detail in someone else’s day that makes the difference between a terrible day and an uplifted one.


You never know what someone else is going through, and our interactions with others can be pivotal. Imagine if you were going through a tough time – if people are rude or thoughtless towards you, this could make your whole world view far more pessimistic and could lead to a spiral of negative thinking. But if someone, just one person, did something kind for you (like paying for your coffee, or holding the lift doors), it could be a glimmer of hope that things aren’t so bad, and you are worthy of nice things.


Being kind also benefits the giver – doing something nice for others releases oxytocin and serotonin, giving you a sense of reward and pleasure that make you feel optimistic and boosts your self-worth.


It doesn’t always have to be about others, either. You can also direct acts of kindness towards yourself. By taking time to be mindful of how you feel, or treating yourself to something you really enjoy (indulging in comfort food, watching your favourite box set, or taking a trip to your favourite place), you can give yourself the kindness you deserve, boosting your sense of wellbeing and self-esteem in the process.


We have discussed the benefits of self-care before, and seen how vital it is to take care of yourself, to ensure you are in a strong, resilient position that allows you to appreciate your own value and believe in yourself. So never forget to be kind to yourself too!


It can sometimes feel like the world is a dark and depressing place, but instead of waiting for someone else to turn the light on, we can take the initiative to be make thoughtful gestures towards others and be part of a wave of positivity that makes life that little bit brighter.


Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

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