“Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re in anxious or shy in a social situation.”
– From “Kindness Health Facts” by @wellnessatdartmouth
I shared this above image on my studio Instagram account.
We all know we should be kind because that is the right thing to do, but it’s easier said than done.
Below are a few ways I practice kindness when I don’t feel great:
- Feeling Anxious
Let’s not let this anxiety spill into other people’s lives, but be kind to ourselves. I find it helpful to say out loud, “I don’t feel great (or awful!). I am anxious, but this is what has worked well so far today.” Then I list out a few things that has gone well in the day. Acknowledging the negative feelings first then reminding myself of the good has helped me directly shift the situation to a positive one. This is like when you burn your tongue. What are you going to do? Let it hurt? No! Go get that ice cube or cold water to soothe that pain!
- Feeling Angry/Upset Towards Another Person
This is a hard one, but I say one kind thing the other person has done for me out loud. In my experience, this has dissipated my negative emotions immediately, stopping me from gossiping, arguing, or feeling hurt. If it gets especially hard, I remind myself that God, my family and friends love me and say in what ways.
- Feeling Sad
Sadness can suck the life out of you. It makes being around people hard. In situations like this, it is the most effective to be kind to others in order to give yourself a boost. I have found saying “hello” to strangers or finding something you like about them (ie. hair, shoes, smile…etc.) and compliment them on it very helpful. This changes how you view things to a “happy lens”.
What other ways do you practice kindness when it’s challenging? Please share!