Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off today highlighting the theme of kindness. This theme has never seemed so important whilst were amidst a global pandemic.
I am sure you will have witnessed or played a part in an act of kindness during the last couple of months, as these dark times have brought out the best in people.
So why did the Mental Health Foundation pick the theme of kindness?
Chief Executive Mark Rowland said: “We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity.
“Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.
“Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.”
Additionally the foundation chose kindness because they want us to focus on what kind of society we’d like to be a part of on the other side of the pandemic.
Kindness truly inspires kindness and that is why it is so important in our communities. It also benefits your mental health and the health of others around you.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation highlighted a fact reported in the New York Times which states that: “Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health.
“Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation.”
There have also been numerous studies which illustrate the importance of kindness to our health. Read more here.
So to begin this Mental Health Awareness Week try and think of some examples of when you have witnessed kindness and write down how it made you feel. Also write about times you have been kind and again note down you feelings. This will help you focus on the theme of the week.
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