St Andrews Counselling & Psychotherapy - "Take your first step to emotional health & well being"
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

Being Busy
Moving and Transitions
Contact me to talk about counselling; This is how it works.
Do I need counselling?
The drive for growth and mental health and wellness; Physis

Most Popular Posts

St Andrews Counselling & Psychotherapy Blog Opens
Working with Trauma:Early Deconfusion work
View from the Bridge ( trigger warning contains reference to suicide)
Transactional Analysis: The Ego State Model
More on Perfectionism: The Be Perfect Balloon

Categories

anger management
Anxiety & Depression
Couples Counselling
courses and groups
emotions
Is counselling for me?
mindfulness
promotional offers
Transactional Analysis
What I can offer
Working with trauma

Archives

August 2017
May 2017
March 2017
January 2017
December 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
January 2015
October 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013

powered by

My Blog

How can kindness help me feel better?

Maybe it's me but I have recently spent a little time reflecting on the word "kindness".
My initial thoughts are around the word kindness as being nebulous, vague and an apology for politeness.
Am I alone in thinking this?
Interestingly the word keeps pricking my mind now and then asking me to pay more attention to understanding what does kindness actually mean?
When I am uncertain over meanings I go to the Oxford Dictionary to get a definition:
"noun [mass noun]
  • the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate: he thanked them for their kindness and support
  • [count noun] a kind act: it would be a kindness on your part to invite her"
 
Margot Silk Forrest (2003) shifts from definitions and pins down "kindness":
"Kindness is the wise use of the heart. A purely heartfelt action won't necessary be a kind one -- it could be misguided or uninformed. It takes wisdom and heart to notice when someone needs our help and to see what kind of help they need. That word "use" is important, too. Kindness isn't kindness if it is not put to use. Action is required. Thinking kind thoughts is all well and good. It will calm and purify your mind stream. But at some point, we have to get up and act on our kind intentions."
 
So kindness is not just about sentiment, wishing someone well or merely feeling emotionally impacted on. There is an observational aspect, to notice when someone needs our help and not just to see what help they need, but to take action. Firstly to ask how they are and the use of empathy to feel what it might be like to experience their situation. To then act upon, not just to offer but to actually do something to help and support the other. Kindness may be a practical act such as helping them with a lift, a meal, childcare, or a visit. There is also a warmth in an act of kindness, a reaching out to another, a generosity of time, company and friendship.
There is also consideration of how your kindness may impact on the other person, there's a balance here not to overwhelm or "rescue" by doing what they can do for themselves.
 
So how can kindness help the giver?
 
Being kind to someone else may be seen as an act of love which when given benefits not only the recipient but the giver as well.
 
Being kind has a great "feel good" factor, and when we feel good we flood our brain with dopamine, the feel good hormone which lifts our mood.
 
Kindness is not just about a one to one activity, we can offer kindness to our community when we volunteer our time and skills for free to benefit others, some of whom may be known and unknown to us. So kindness has an altruistic component.
 
Imagine if everyone offered and delivered an act of kindness to someone who needed this badly, what impact do you think this would have at an individual, family, community, locality, country and worldwide level?

1 Comment to How can kindness help me feel better?:

Comments RSS
cheap watches for women on 03 January 2015 06:16
I have recently started a website, the info you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint