On World Kindness Day Day, Lynn Crilly shares Five Reasons Kindness Can Boost Your Own Health and Wellbeing
A leading campaigner on mental health has urged Brits to be kind as it can help others and boost you own wellbeing.
And Lynn Crilly, who is also a mental health counsellor, says the “kindness of strangers” can often be the perfect tonic for someone experiencing a life crisis.
Speaking on World Kindess Day – which is celebrated today (November 13) Lynn said: “We often talk of the “kindness of strangers’ – and there’s no doubt that, sometimes, the very best support can arrive from a place you least expect it.
“Three years ago, at the start of lockdown, many people were inspired to reach out to each other with kindness. They were motivated to do the right thing by supporting and uplifting one another in the face of adversity,
“However, as the pandemic continued, it began to grind people down. They became tired, and less tolerant of each other.
“Then, as the world began to emerge from the pandemic, it soon became clear the devastating effect it had had on people’s mental health.
Addressing the issues many people currently face in their lives, Lynn continued: “People have been living in a state of uncertainty ever since, with the economy, climate, war and the high interest rates, all compounding many of mental health issues people may have today.
“That’s why I hope lots of people show kindness today and in the future.”
Lynn became a counsellor after one of her daughter’s, Samantha, fell into the trap of Anorexia Nervosa and OCD, at the age of 13. She explored every avenue and source of help, but they were not right. Lynn felt she had no option but to educate herself and learn as much as she could about eating disorders and mental illness.
Here Lynn shares five reasons why it can make a difference both to you, and the person sitting by your side.
It encourages us to reset the idea of ‘KINDNESS’.
Kindness is much more than ‘a nice thing to do’ It plays a vital role in our overall well-being. Research has shown that kindness has a positive effect on both our mental and physical health – whether we are showing kindness, receiving kindness, or just watching kindness. How wonderful is that?
It can help us to feel happier:
When we experience kindness, a hormone called dopamine is released in our brain which uplifts our mood. It is often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.
Kindness improves relationships:
We tend to gravitate towards people that show us kindness. This is mainly because kindness reduces the emotional distance between each other and helps us to feel more bonded.
Kindness is good for the heart:
When we show kindness to one another it makes us feel all warm inside. Acts of kindness are often accompanied by a feeling of emotional warmth, which in turn
produces the hormone oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which expands the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and protects the heart.
Kindness slows ageing:
Kindness has been proven to slow the ageing process. Research shows that oxytocin can reduce levels of free radicals and inflammation (two main culprits of ageing) in our cardiovascular system. This also slows ageing at the source.
And finally, kindness is contagious:
When a stone is dropped into water it creates waves, acts of kindness of the same ripple effect. When we are kind, it inspires others to be kind, studies show that it creates a ripple effect. That spreads outwards, to friends, their friends, and their friends – that is a great three degrees of separation. So, when a person is kind to another it could positively affect up to 125 people. How cool is that?
The busy, complicated technology fuelled world we live in today desperately needs more kindness, which will not only give all the above benefits but also restore faith in human nature and give people hope.
So, we should also remember we should not need a special day to show one another kindness. We should aim to make it part of our everyday life. Remember kindness costs nothing – yet is the most priceless gift of all.