Throughout this pandemic, you have probably experienced uncharacteristic emotions. That’s because we have been put in a position that none of us has ever been in before. As we battle these different emotions, it makes us think about other people and how they are dealing with the effects of the pandemic. We are all different, but kindness can bring us all together through times of hardship no matter what we are going through.
This article is number seven of eight in a series of being your best self, even during a pandemic. My name’s Zach Berwick, and after ten years working in the health and fitness industry to help people improve their wellbeing, I wrote this book to put down on paper what I’ve learned to share with others. I have taken out some key points in the chapter ‘The Power of Kindness’ to help you understand the effects of kindness on you and your community.
Science shows that the benefits of kindness are more significant for the person giving rather than receiving. The more we help other people in our lives, the better we will feel and in times where we can’t see our friends and family, showing compassion and kindness can really make someone’s day. Since the pandemic started, I am talking to a lot more strangers when I am out walking, whereas before, these people wouldn’t have looked up when they saw me walking towards them. People are looking for connection more than ever. As a community, we must come together. We’re all going through the same thing, and there’s no benefit from hiding out in our houses and not connecting with the outside world. Let’s take a look at how kindness can help you get through these difficult times and how it can make you think bigger.
Increase your energy levels
Kindness is proven to raise energy levels, increase feelings of self-worth, and can relieve stress. Research has shown that our brain releases a feel-good hormone when we are kind to other people. This boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of wellbeing and satisfaction. This is called ‘the helpers high’, and these hormones boost your mood. This can play a massive part in making you feel better during these times.
When you’ve helped someone or gone out your way to do a good deed, can you think back to how that made you feel? If we repeat these actions daily, we’re in good stead to improving our energy levels, which can help us in other areas of our life. It will make you want to help more people and experience those feelings again.
Kindness helps you reduce anxiety
Anxiety levels have undoubtedly increased during these times. There is so much more uncertainty in our lives, which will make people feel more nervous and can have negative effects on our daily lives. Showing compassion to others can help improve your sleep, make you more productive, and make you feel optimistic about the future.
The more we help people, the more we connect with them. This can reduce feelings of loneliness and helplessness that you might be feeling at the moment. If you suffer from anxiety, speak to more people and see how you can help them.
When you are working from home, not seeing your colleagues, and your routine might be messed up, you might be feeling that your productivity levels have decreased. Kindness can help you boost your productivity, and it can also help increase the productivity of the people you help. It is also true for being kind to yourself, and this comes from eating well, getting enough exercise, getting outdoors, and doing the things you still enjoy.
Self-compassion inspires us to pursue our dreams. It creates the brave, confident, curious, and resilient mindset that allows us to achieve them. Being kind to yourself also means not taking yourself too seriously and not putting any unwanted pressure on yourself. You might not be able to give your best at the moment, and that is ok.
It builds better relationships
When it comes to building relationships in our work and personal life, it is essential to possess the characteristic of kindness. Genuine compassion can overcome hostilities, fosters respect, and encourages mutual understanding. Developing relationships through our lives will be pivotal to our happiness and success, and the more meaningful connections you build, the more opportunities will be presented to you.
Even though we currently live in a virtual world, keep a lookout for people who might need your help. Use social media to see if anyone needs a hand with something and offer you services free of charge. You will build some great relationships in your community. Also, go above and beyond to ask your friends and family if they are doing ok. Most people are too proud to say they are experiencing negative feelings, but asking them how they are might just make their day.
The great thing about being kind to people is that the feeling spreads both ways. You can make someone else’s day, plus your own. Start thinking about the ways you can have a positive effect on peoples’ lives.
Take time to have fun
A big part of being kind to yourself is making sure you look after yourself and have some fun. Just because everything is closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some home-based fun. Our lives are hectic with lots of moving parts, and most of the time, there isn’t much time for ourselves.
Your mental wellbeing will improve when you organise a fun activity at home. It would be a Mexican themed night or relive one of your favourite festivals at home. The more we laugh, interact, and have fun, the better we will feel when we are back to work. It makes us see the world differently and feel like we are not just stuck in a miserable lockdown.
Start volunteering to show your kindness
We want to incorporate kindness into our everyday lives to live with optimism and build a better community around us, and one way you can start this is by volunteering. Volunteering benefits you by boosting your self-esteem, social connections, and wellbeing. Take a look online to see how you can help in your area.
If you are on furlough, the NHS is always looking for helpers. It can also help with your personal development, as you will most likely learn many new skills. Your contribution to the community will be positive, and the world needs more of that right now.