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Health & Fitness, Perspectives

Be Kind

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Last Monday whilst walking my daughter to school, negotiating the traffic, the adverse weather and the ticking of time, my daughter suddenly stopped in her tracks. Turning to me with an intense and piercing gaze, her question was revealed: “Mummy, why is it important to be kind?”

I felt a rush of parental responsibility. I was determined to seize this opportunity in a meaningful manner despite the ticking of the clock, but how do you provide an answer to such a profound question when the inquisitor is of an age yet to lose all her milk teeth? I took a pause, kneeled down beside her – establishing the importance of the moment – and considered a meaningful response.

“Being kind is important as it allows you to be the best version of yourself and when you are the best version of yourself you can change the world to a more beautiful and loving place for all. Never miss an opportunity to be kind… you should always aspire to be the princess of kindness”

I could see through the intensity of her facial expression that she was digesting the concept and processing my words intently. Her eyes fixed beyond my person and to my delight suddenly her face lit up with excitement. She got it.

13 November is a day dedicated to kindness. The World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement and is now celebrated in many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom.

The Science of Kindness

Scientists and psychologists have conducted numerous studies concerning the positive impact of ‘kindness’ on the individual and society as a whole. Dr David R Hamilton highlights what he calls, ‘The side effects of kindness’

  1. Kindness makes us happier

  2. Kindness is good for the heart

  3. Kindness slows ageing

  4. Kindness improves relationships

  5. Kindness is contagious

Often referred to as ‘the love hormone,’ oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds and trusting other people – it's the hormone mothers produce when they breastfeed, cementing their bond with their babies. Kindness is directly linked to the secretion of this amazing hormone, which is also released when we're physically intimate. It is tied to making us more trusting, generous, and friendlier, while also lowering our blood pressure.

The way to apply kindness is to shift your focus on the positive side of life, the positive side of people and the positive side of you.

Every new day is an opportunity to focus on the positive. Give yourself the chance to be the best version of you and contribute towards making this world a better place for all. A simple act of kindness can make the world of difference to someone, especially during these challenging times. Do not hold back your kindness – pay that compliment, be helpful, smile, hug (when permitted), become the outspoken advocate of kindness, encourage others, give a bit of your time to truly listen and provide support.

And finally, aim to start your day with a smile; a smile that radiates to all around you. “Smile and the world smiles with you” - Stanley Gordon West.

Maria O’Meara, MA, BSc (Hons)

Empowerment and Personal Performance Coach,

mariaomearaempowerment.com

@mariaomearaempowerment

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