Thursday, 31 March 2016

Just a spoonful of kindness makes the medicine go down….

Kindness is as much a thought as it is an action. It becomes more than just a physical response but rather a state of mind that can ultimately make us healthier. In fact, across many studies we see that expressions of respect, acceptance, warmth, and open sharing of information contribute to less pain from conditions such as arthritis, as well as better health for those with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or asthma.

So does kindness heal?

While it is true is that sometimes actions speak louder than words, our thoughts transcends all physical boundaries. So the fact remains that while it is always important to do the act of random kindness, the thought before it still has the power packing punch.
For example, a study that subjected volunteers to the common cold virus on purpose as part of an experiment found that when those volunteers rated the doctor who interacted with them as very kind, they were less likely to develop a full-blown cold, their symptoms were less severe, and the illness cleared up faster. 

While I sit here reading this study, I can’t help but feel that even science is opening a window into the many ways that we are connected and showing us that how we portray our thoughts to others really can affect our physiology. Granted, we may not immediately recognize the effects immediately, but our actions towards others who are going through a rough time have real consequences.
Thus we need to reset our minds to think “Kind” so that everyone in our environment may benefit, especially us.

So the best way to show care is for us to share and the more we share this healing spoonful of kindness may result in us living a longer–and happier–life.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Does Kindness Start At Home?

“Kindness begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action”.
Every day we are presented with opportunities to assist others and make their day just a little bit better and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be the “do gooder” who makes others days go a little bit easier.
But what about when we get home after doing something really outgoing for a stranger. Doesn’t it seem easier and more commendable to give time to those who are foreign to us rather than those who are closer .In fact, think about your day from start to finish .Think about how much time we dedicate to others outside our home. According to a study done by Prof Sonja Lyubomirsky of Stanford University, people who engage with five random acts a week were more prepared to perform acts of altruism than those who don’t.
But interestingly enough the hardest place to feel good about giving is in our own homes. Why do we feel proud of ourselves for cooking for an acquaintance who just gave birth and burdened by making dinner for our families? Why do we answer the phone at the table when a colleague wants to vent but yell at our spouse browsing social media?
Could it be that we have been misled by society to believe that only work outside the home is truly significant.
We need to change our mind set. Yes, the more acts of kindness, the better. Certainly once our family is attended to, giving to the greater community is a wonderful and important thing to-do. We couldn't survive without it…   
But let's not forget where to start. Let's not forget where the real difference is made.
Kindness to the world; vitally important
Kindness to our home; priceless.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Thinking Humanity

It is so easy for us to be kind to others but at the same time, so difficult. Where does one even begin in such a turmoil ridden context that surrounds the South African landscape.  Do we begin at home with those that need our assistance? Or do we reach out to those who stereotypically deserve our kindness. But then again what difference can one random act of kindness make to a great population that deserve this virtue? Surely if kindness is to be given, one simply has to ask for it?
But then there are those who do not even know how to ask. Surely they deserve this kindness more. Think of the Deaf community, a group who turn to each other to communicate as the greater community cannot connect in their way. Perhaps learning some basic sign language and saying hello to one who is deaf in the language he is accustomed to rather than expecting him to communicate in our language, is kindness?
There is no measure to kindness, no act is too big or too miniscule, nor do material items make one’s kindness more effective. Anyone can be kind and show virtues to others such as empathy and care to be kind. Lets start you on your kindness journey with two ideas:
1.       There is automatic kindness which comes naturally to our human instinct which we may choose to act upon or ignore. Acting upon this is kindness to the other but also to ourselves, allowing our innate nature to flourish.

2.       There is kindness which requires effort, some physical or emotional exertion which demands of us to go beyond what our instinct directs. This too benefits the other but also ourselves. The extra effort is a platform for self-growth.

Where can you begin?