‘Doing good does you good’– Mental Health Foundation
We know that doing something nice for others feels nice, but more and more research is now showing that it benefits us as much as it is beneficial to others.
Physiological changes relating to happiness
Sense of belonging
Positive outlook and perspective
People are likely to pay it forward
If you look at most blogs or articles about the habits of successful or happy people you will find that kindness, gratitude, and compliments are all listed.
Previously at the beginning of lent some of the members of the Phoenix Community have shared how lent is to not just give something up, but to use what you have given up to something positive.
The example given was if you give up chocolate you give the money or chocolate you would have eaten to those who need it more. A similar concept is followed by many during the month of Ramadan.
There was a consensus, even with those who don’t normally honour this tradition, that it would be nice to take something up for 40 days. This resulted in a few people agreeing to take up 40 days of gratitude and kindness. To show gratitude for the things we have and the people who are around us and to show a daily act of kindness towards others.
In a world where it is easy to see so much in the news about horror and unkindness, it is important that we look for the acts of kindness that also happen. Even in the most horrific of incidents, there will be stories of courage, kindness and love. They won’t always be as obvious but they are there if you look for them.
We often see the devastating impact of unkindness shown. We don't know what people are going through, or what kind of day they are having. We may never understand their struggles and challenges.
We don't need to know or understand people in order to be kind.
We don't even need to speak the same language.
We can be kind to strangers, to people who are not known to us, in-person and online.
The brain will see what we ask it to look for. If we focus our minds on gratitude and kindness we will see it. Looking for kind humanity will help the way we view the world.
Looking outside of ourselves and our own needs are part of our evolution and personal growth.
Most people don’t complete random acts of kindness to improve their long term physical and mental health. That isn’t their motivation. Most people you ask will tell you that they do it because it is nice to make someone smile and that there is that ‘at the moment’ feel-good factor.
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.
Why not challenge yourself to 40 days of gratitude and kindness?
If you are stuck for ideas then why not take a look at the attached two links.
First published Feb 2018
Revised and republished Feb 2020