Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is ‘kindness’.
You may recognise the expression “it is better to give than receive”, but did you know this is backed up by research?
People who are kind and compassionate see clear benefits to their wellbeing and happiness. They may even live longer. Kindness can also help reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing.1,2
We all have so much going on in our lives - including competing strains and stresses – not to mention the current coronavirus pandemic. This can see kindness pushed to one side, in favour of what is urgent or trending now.
It can be easy to signal kindness by posting online and following a trend, but harder to commit to kindness in our daily words and actions.
But if we take the time to be kind to other people, we can reap the emotional dividends. It can really make a difference and especially for people who are vulnerable or struggling.
Now is the time to re-imagine a kinder society that better protects our mental health.
Kindness could be built into business decisions, government policy and official systems in a way that supports everyone’s mental health and also reduces discrimination and inequality.-But that can start by individual commitments to showing kindness in our words and our actions.
We have written this guide to show the positive impact helping others can have on your own mental health, including some tips and suggestions to inspire you.
So, take a few minutes, have a read and think about doing something kind for a friend or a stranger today.
What do we mean by kindness?
Kindness is choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, motivated by genuine warm feelings.
Kindness, or doing good, often means putting other people’s needs before our own. It could be by giving up our seat on a bus to someone who might need it more, or offering to make a cup of tea for someone at work.
Evidence shows that helping others can also benefit our own mental health and wellbeing. For example, it can reduce stress as well as improve mood, self-esteem and happiness.1–3
There are so many ways to help others as part of our everyday lives. Good deeds needn’t take much time or cost any money.
Small changes can make a big difference.
This guide gives you tips on how to bring kindness into your life. We will look in more detail at:
- Doing something for a good cause
- Acts of kindness
To read more click HERE to go the Mental Health Foundation website.