On November 13, global citizens come together to celebrate World Kindness Day. An annual observance started in 2009 by the World Kindness Movement, this day brought together organizations to create a platform inspiring individuals to show kindness. As we honour this special day, let us consider how to best express kindness towards ourselves and others.
Kindness is defined as “the state of being friendly, sympathetic, and helpful.” Its effect is profound; studies show there are tangible benefits from expressing kindness. Here are some ways you can celebrate World Kindness Day:
Showing You Care:
1. Smile. William Ward said, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness and love.” Smile and send a message that you are friendly and wish others well. Smiling attracts positive energy and can make you feel better by changing your outward demeanour.
2. Listen. Listening is not hearing. Hearing is a physical ability; listening is a skill. Give people your full attention and do your best to empathize. By focusing on others, we gain more understanding of the meaning behind their words. It’s not necessary to say anything; the simple fact of being there for a person can make them feel heard.
3. Volunteer. Take advantage of free time and volunteer for an organization or cause that helps those who may be less fortunate. Use your skills to create a difference in the lives of those who need support the most.
4. Inspire instead of criticize. How a person receives our message depends on its delivery. Use positive words as a way to build people up and inspire them.
5. Be willing to trust. This can be difficult, but trust can provide an opportunity for others to show kindness to you. Be honest with your emotions, and ask for help during bad times. Vulnerability may bring you closer to friends and loved ones.
6. Share. Do you have used items you no longer need? Instead of throwing them out, give useful belongings to neighbours or donate to shelters and organizations supporting the community.
7. Mean it. Be genuine. There’s no need to be cheerful if you don’t feel that way. Sometimes the best kindness you can show is to not be hard on yourself and admit when you’re feeling challenged.
Expressing kindness towards others is important, and self-care is an important part of that. For personal counselling, call York Regional Psychological Services at (416) 602-3230 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.