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Blog: Choosing to be kind

My daughter is the biggest Harry Styles fan in the world. I know it’s a hotly contested title, but I think she has pipped others to it; the life sized Harry Styles cut out in our living room would testify to that!

I am (not so secretly) a bit of a fan too. One of the things I admire most about Harry is his motto ‘Treat People With Kindness’. He has a song by the same name, and t-shirts, hoodies and posters too! I think the message does really get across to his fans who would, of course, do anything for Harry!

Apparently it’s not only time spent with Harry Styles that brings you happiness, though! Oxford University conducted a large scale study about kindness in 2016. Although the impact was modest, the findings showed that kindness really does bring you happiness.

I don’t think we need an academic study to tell us that, though. That’s the beauty of kindness, it has such a positive impact on both the recipient and giver.

Being kind is not always easy. Being kind is a skill that often demands great courage and strength. Being kind is a choice, and not always the easy one. It’s easy to become frustrated when a friend or family member is always late or lets you down. It takes courage and strength to be kind, to stop and think about why, to put yourself in their shoes and offer some words of kindness.

Kindness is a choice.

I am privileged to work with colleagues who show kindness every day; to me, their peers, our volunteers and people we support. One of our values is compassion and it’s that compassion that guides us to acts of kindness. Kindness is everywhere in Health in Mind, from the offer of a hot cup of tea or a listening ear after a tough day, that’s what makes Health in Mind special.

Being kind to ourselves is tougher, but it is acts of self kindness that gives us fuel to be kind to others. Like everything, practice makes perfect. Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” So, every time you practice, you will feel the benefit.

We are often encouraged to do one small act of kindness for someone each day.  The challenge I would like to leave you with today, is for that person to be you!

This blog was written by Wendy Bates, our Chief Executive at Health in Mind. 

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