For some people, the world can sometimes be a difficult or overwhelming place to navigate. Everyone has their own challenges, however there’s one thing which can universally brighten people’s day; kindness. It might seem small, but a simple act of kindness can be so powerful and make a huge difference in someone’s life. In fact, research shows being kind/showing empathy not only benefits the receiver, but it also positively impacts the mental and physical health of the one giving it.
When we are being empathetic and showing kindness, we release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin can improve your mood, reduce stress levels, boost your self-esteem and confidence, and in turn help you create positive relationships with others. Our favourite thing about kindness is it’s contagious; when you do nice things for others, you create a ripple effect which can spread and inspire others to be kind as well. A kinder, more compassionate community sounds pretty great to us.
Kindness is not solely about big gestures. It’s being considerate and making other people feel good, and can be as small as smiling at someone, giving a compliment or holding the door open. Any act of kindness can have a big impact, and sometimes, it’s the difference between a bad day and a good one for someone who is struggling.
Take a moment to think about if you have any classmates or friends who could benefit from some care and kindness.
If you’re thinking of more people you could show empathy towards, one of our special guests on The Imperfects podcast, Nedd Brockmann, thinks the homeless could really benefit from more empathy/kindness. Homelessness is a complex issue that affects over 100,000 people in Australia* for a multitude of different factors. If you are applying an empathy lens here, how might that look? Could we put ourselves in their shoes and really consider their situation and struggles? Could we withhold judgement? Could we explore other initiatives or avenues to help support homeless people?
We hope you see the importance and amazing benefits of empathy/kindness, and you remember it not only improves the lives of others but also makes a great impact on your own wellbeing. Now with all of that in mind, we’d like you to participate in our…
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE
For the next week, the team at TRP challenges you to do one kind thing each day. Again, it can be as simple as complimenting a friend, offering to help someone with their homework or even sending a thank you note to a teacher or family member. Get creative, and think of ways you can show kindness to the people around you to make their day.
Our team will also be participating in the challenge and sharing our kind acts, and we’d love to hear about what kind things you get up to! Please feel free to share yours with us by emailing us with the subject line, KINDNESS CHALLENGE, at [email protected].
Dr Waguih William IsHak, Psychiatrist, Cidars-Sinai
Marylin Price- Mitchell Ph.D, 2 January, 2013 ‘Acts of Kindness: Key to Happiness for Children & Teens’, Psychology Today
* as of 2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing