Wednesday 20th May 2020

Kindness is Contagious


At a time where the spread of coronavirus has impacted most of the world, making a positive difference to others is more important than ever.

Date: 20th May 2020

Author: Gemma Kavanagh @ WISH North Wales 

This year’s Mental Health Awareness week is centred around the theme of kindness, and it couldn’t be more relevant to the work that we’re delivering within the housing sector - where kindness is our business.

Get your own house in order!

Kindness starts with you. One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves and for others, is to be self-aware by understanding and addressing our own emotions. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been busy, tired or hungry and found ourselves responding to someone without really thinking about the impact of what we’ve just said, or, how we’ve said it.

The great thing is, that through recognising our own emotions, we have a choice. It’s in our gift to think about our thinking and to understand the impact that our reactions and responses have upon those around us.

To get our own house in order we need to ask ourselves:

  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What am I thinking?
  • What can I do for myself?

If you’re anything like me… you’ll be feeling hungry, thinking about food and need to go and get a bite to eat!

Behind closed doors…

It can be easy to make an assumption about how someone else might be feeling, and what they might be thinking.

We have all either heard or said:

  • “I know exactly how you feel!”
  • “That happened to me once… and I did this…”
  • “I’ve been there before…”

We might think that we’re being supportive by telling someone that we know what they’re going through, but the truth is that we aren’t. What we’re actually doing by saying any of the above, is refocusing the conversation onto ourselves and preventing the other person from sharing their experiences.

Given that we know our own thoughts and feelings can quite often influence how we act, let's not forget, the same applies to others around you. Always be mindful that someone’s negative actions towards you are likely to be a result of their own emotions and we can never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors.

Listening to someone, asking how they feel and acknowledging those feelings can be one of the kindest things you can do. If they don’t want to talk, then simply saying “I’m here for you” can be a powerful way to articulate that you care.

Being kind means remembering that how someone thinks and feels about a situation is as unique as the person experiencing it.

Good things come in small packages!

When we talk about random acts of kindness, it’s easy to think about grand gestures but, over the past couple of months in particular, we’ve seen that it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.

An act of kindness can be as simple as a smile or a compliment, or a reminder to let someone know that you are “thinking of them”.

These small things go a long way to making someone feel valued and appreciated and research shows that kindness has a knock-on effect (although we don't need science to tell us that being kind makes others, and you feel uplifted)! For each kind act we perform, it’s almost a given that someone watching, or the person we’ve been kind to will then pay that kindness forward.

Taking a small step such as being kind to ourselves, offering a safe space for someone to talk or passing a compliment on can spread quickly through our communities, countries and across the globe!!

Kindness really is contagious, and it’s in our gift to spread it!

 


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