The theme for #mentalhealthawarenessweek is #kindness.
A kind word, a smile, opening a door, or helping carry a heavy load are all acts of kindness.
Celebrating someone you love, giving honest compliments, sending an email thanking someone, telling someone how s/he is special to you, helping an elderly neighbour with their garden, or food, taking a photo of someone and sending it to the person, sharing homemade food, refusing to gossip, and donating old clothing and things you don’t need are all ideas about how to practice kindness.
It also about noticing when others are suffering.
When we are friendly, generous, and considerate to others it makes us feel good about ourselves.
Put simply, the act of being kind releases a range of natural feel-good hormones in your body, including oxytocin and endorphins. So, practicing kindness, compassion, and appreciation can make you happier, boost your immune system, reverse the signs of aging, relieve pain, and even help you live longer.
Choosing to think and feel kindness about someone you find challenging, ahead of interacting or responding to them, is one of my favourite strategies for changing how I feel in the moment (e.g. releasing stress or anxiety), and is an excellent strategy for defusing potentially difficult situations.
Kindness has been found by researchers to be the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. There are many ways to be kind and many opportunities to practice. Perhaps kindness is a value that could add more satisfaction to and strengthen your relationships.
It’s also important to be kind to yourself.
- Do you treat yourself kindly?
- Do you speak gently and kindly to yourself and
- Take good care of yourself?
In my many years of practice nearly all my clients who have sought my help to overcome stress, anxiety, depression, addictions and to lose weight were unkind to themselves. The habit and the negative feelings were a result of their lack of self-nurturing.
- They didn’t plan meals – they ate “on the go”, grabbed the easiest, quickest to prepare food.
- They didn’t take the time to sit down and enjoy their food
- They didn’t have “downtime”
- They didn’t know how to say “no”
- They put everything and everyone before themselves
- They used cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and food to fill an empty hole
- They put pressure on themselves to be perfect. This resulted in them being self-critical
When I see a client for the first time whatever the reason they have sought my help, my first step is to evaluate to what extent they are being kind to themselves so that I can restore balance and harmony. Once balance has been restored they have the spare capacity, energy and motivation to make the changes they desire.
If you have a habit, feeling or some aspect of your life that you cannot cope with please contact me. I have been in private practice for 14 years and have helped many people. Go to my Home page for full information about my services
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