Is Kindness really the secret sauce to a happier and healthier existence?
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is now in its 20th year, with the theme for this year being Kindness Matters – especially important during the current pandemic.
Coming to terms with the new normal
As a society we have had to adapt to a new way of living and communicating, whilst trying to come to terms with the uncertainty of the situation we are living through. Self-isolation and social distancing have become a new normal and will have far-reaching consequence for our mental health and wellbeing in the short- and long-term as we mitigate the spread of the disease.
A mental health crisis
A recent report by the U.N. has warned Covid-19 could cause a global mental health crisis with U.N. experts stating that ‘a mental illness crisis is looming’ as millions of people worldwide of all ages and backgrounds are impacted by death and disease and forced into isolation, poverty and anxiety by the pandemic.
Increases in cases of depression and anxiety have risen across the world with millions of people facing economic turmoil and genuinely afraid and feeling anxious about the future.
Finding ways to cope during the crisis is crucial, with the need to rebuild a mental health system on a global scale that is fit for the future, ensuring investment into communities to ensure quality mental health and social care. This requires global intervention and governments to review and adapt policy to address the fall-out from Covid-19.
So what can we do on a smaller scale, on a daily basis, to support one another and in some small way improve our own and that of other’s mental health?
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week campaign put the focus on kindness as a means of helping people through the pandemic and building a better society as we emerge from it.
There is no doubt that’s we have all witnessed some amazing acts of kindness over the last few months, from our front line workers who relentlessly give so much, to the amazing Captain Tom, who had led the way and truly inspired us all to ‘give back’.
Being kind doesn’t have to be a heroic act, simple acts of kindness can have a powerful impact and can enable each of us to feel like we can make a contribution even in a small way.
Good for the heart
Did you know that kindness eases anxiety, is good for your heart and helps you live longer? Having empathy for others enables us to build better relationships that, in turn, makes us feel better and the benefits have been scientifically proven with the act of kindness releasing feel-good hormones by boosting serotonin.
6 Science-Backed Ways Being Kind Is Good for Your Health by Maile Proctor
We all know the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. While this is an old adage we learn from an early age, there are a number of real-life benefits associated with the way we treat others. Science shows that as children, we’re biologically wired to be kind and we can further develop this trait with practice and repetition. Sometimes, however, due to outside influences and the stress of our day-to-day lives, we can lose this inherent ability.
Performing simple acts of kindness on a daily basis may be one way we can help ourselves and others through this crisis and will surely make the world (or at the very least the place in the world we occupy) a better one. Kindness should not be scheduled into a calendar week, we must aim to make it a part of who we are, incorporate it into our daily lives and existence in order to truly have a long-term impact beyond the present crisis.
It is worth giving it a go to see if it really is the secret sauce to a happier and healthier life.
Alex act of kindness
Alex Feechan is currently raising money for MIND UK throughout May.
Mind Matters May sees Alex do a 5k walk, run or cycle 5 times a week dedicating her daily exercise to this great cause in order to raise funds and awareness. To find out more head to the just giving page and if you like what you read and would like to support Alex a small donation of £5 would be hugely appreciated.
Quote of the Week
“Kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give” – Author unknown
Music of the Week
I love music, and have a pretty eclectic mix in my collection. My brother Paul introduced me to Pink Floyd many years ago and this is one of our favourites. Add David Bowie into the mix and well, what can I say!
Comfortably Numb – PINK Floyd