You might be feeling extra vulnerable during this time and therefore seeking more reassurance and comfort in your day. However, instead of waiting for others to reach out, have you tried reaching out first and practicing the art of being kind? While kindness is normally implied with your interactions between close friends, family members, and other loved ones, the act of kindness could also be overlooked. That is the quality of kindness you are sharing with someone. Not only will this kindness have a positive impact on their day, but practicing kindness can provide you with many benefits that sustain a healthy recovery.
Kindness and Hormones
Doing something for somebody makes you feel good. This is not random—in fact, studies show that when you are kind to somebody, your brain releases feel-good hormones as well as boosting your serotonin levels which are responsible for your satisfaction and well-being. This creates what is referred to as “helper’s high.” These feelings can last for hours or days, depending on how often you exercise your kindness muscles.
It is no secret that you might be experiencing anxiety at this time, whether from your own circumstances or from stressing about other friends and family. Whatever and wherever your anxiety is coming from, understand that kindness can help. Kindness is a natural remedy that only takes time to recognize and appreciate someone. By looking for an opportunity to help others, you are not only easing your anxiety, but you are also lowering stress, promoting a healthier heart, and building a positive mood within yourself. Like any emotion that can be infectious, happiness and joy are, too.
Learning empathy for anyone is important, and especially important for your recovery. It not only helps you get in touch with your feelings, but it helps you identify what others are feeling. It will help you understand and listen to what others are saying, which can potentially create a deeper and more meaningful bond between you and a friend. Being empathetic while being kind is a great way to engage with others on a deeper level. Being empathetic will also create a stronger feeling of contentment, which can combat feelings of isolation. Given the current circumstances, the world needs to feel connected.
Sense of Purpose From Being Selfless
When you feel obligated to be kind and give, this could make the act less enjoyable. However, when you make it a choice, this will evoke within you a sense of direction and independence with your actions. Since kindness improves your relationships with others, it can help bring meaning and purpose into your life. This is because you are freely choosing your actions, therefore helping you to realize that you are capable, competent, and confident. To be kind and help others fulfill a basic human need further strengthens your place and your role in this world, which in turn strengthens your contentment.
When to Be Kind
All the time. Practice kindness in every facet of your day. This means to listen and respond to others in a considerate way, but also listen and respond to yourself in a considerate way. This time is trying, and you must remember not to be too hard on yourself or others. If you happen to watch too much TV or eat too much pizza, it’s okay. Be kind and forgive yourself. It cannot be stressed enough that everybody everywhere is facing similar stresses that surround their choices and actions.
How to Be Kind
There are many different ways to be kind, and currently, there are even more creative ways to show you care. Kindness does not need to begin and end with your friends and family—the benefits of being kind will reveal themselves when you show kindness to a stranger. Try to evaluate your situation and consider others’ situations. Are you in a position to help donate to a local business? Could you donate to another community that is feeling the effects of the current situation worse than you? Could you buy and donate groceries to such communities? Just because you are at home does not mean you cannot take part in helping.
If you are not in a place where you can afford to donate to others, a conversation does just as much good. Engage often with family and friends through activities such as playing virtual board games or having dinner or coffee together. Enjoy time with the ones closest to you and remind them how much it means to you to have them in your life. Expressing gratitude and recognizing such value in a person will help both of you feel good.
While acts of kindness are to exercise selflessness, freedom of choice, and empathy, these acts should help you, too. Try to be consistent with your acts of kindness and continue to build the kind of self-confidence and care that your recovery needs. In addition, your acts of kindness should be directed toward yourself. Nourish your mind and body with the practices that reinforce self-care and kindness within. You owe it to yourself and your recovery. If you are still struggling to find moments of clarity or brevity to consider yourself and others, know that it is okay to ask for help. True Recovery offers multiple recovery options to ensure you receive the treatment that best meets your needs. To get help, please call us today at (866)-399-6528.