World Kindness Day
Did you know that November 13 is World Kindness Day? This internationally observed day focuses on good deeds in our communities and the power of acts of kindness. This is the time of year to reflect about kindness and show care and compassion to others.
Showing kindness to others has been linked to the kind person feeling happier, less isolated and lonely, and having better self-esteem. Being kind also releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, reducing feelings of depression and sadness. So, doing kind things for others actually helps us, too!
Why aren’t we always showing kindness to others? For one thing, we may not always consciously take the time to focus on altruistic acts. There are also barriers to kindness; some thoughts or beliefs that might get in the way of practicing kindness: some have worries or judgments that kindness will be perceived as weakness. We might fear that our kind intentions will be misinterpreted. Or we might have negative thoughts about ourselves or others that keep us from exerting kindness. All of these are barriers that can be overcome if we focus on the benefits – for ourselves and for those around us.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation gives great ideas for small acts of kindness we can all do in our daily life. You might think about ways you can show kindness in different arenas: making donations to charities you support, write a thank-you or gratitude note to someone (even out of the blue), or offer assistance or a visit to someone you know who might be in need.
While you’re at it, you might also take the time to practice some extra SELF-kindness on World Kindness Day. Research has shown that people who are self-compassionate feel more purposeful, optimistic, and grateful, as well as empathetic toward others. You might show yourself some kindness this World Kindness Day by doing a yoga or gratitude practice, journaling, or spending time doing something that brings you joy or relaxation.
To teach young kids about kindness and World Kindness Day, check out the video Kindness is my Superpower | World Kindness Day!
Blog by Jessie Everts, PhD LMFT
Photo by Vie Studio via Pexels