On Being Kind
Research has proven time and again that introducing acts of kindness into our daily lives uplifts our levels of positivity and emotional well-being.
James R. Doty is a professor of neurosurgery and the Director of Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford. He researches the science of kindness and the role it plays in healing humans. A recent workshop he conducted demonstrated that patients who are treated by physicians who are kind to them and show a degree of human care tend to heal quicker than others. In fact, doctors and nurses who treat patients with kindness also tend to have better emotional well-being.
There was interesting research done at the Department of Psychology at Detroit, where doctors invited couples and asked one of the partners to undergo a painful task. The subjects who were soothed and empathized by their partners reported substantially lesser pain while doing the task.
So, I’m giving this simple yet remarkable tip.
If you are anxious, catastrophizing, and stuck in the negatives, generate tangible positivity around you by practicing kindness.
Allow me to explain. Negativity spawns more negativity. Your aim is to step out of this loop of going deeper into negativity. So, how do you create happiness in the face of active, perceptible, and manifest negativity?
By practicing kindness.
I am not asking you to practice Random Acts of Kindness or donate to charities. (Mind you, that is an excellent way of practicing kindness too!) But I ask you to practice a kind of “inherent kindness” from inside you.
Now, there is a great deal of preaching out there, but here are definite steps you need to take to battle negativity with kindness:
1. See from other people’s perspectives.
Often, we make ourselves miserable over imaginary outcomes, keeping only ourselves in the spotlight. Step out of this philosophy, and view things and events through other people’s shoes. This will create a sense of tolerance, and you will learn to perceive seemingly unwanted outcomes in the light of neutrality. Most importantly, it will stop you from being resentful.
2. Take a pause when you’re about to “lose it” or snap at someone.
This is going to take effort. Take a pause before you act negatively toward someone. Don’t say anything and take deep breaths. If you still can’t control it, just walk away. It is crucial that you distract your brain in that moment.
3. Talk to people about their lives.
Take the time to get to know the people around you. Social connection is one of the greatest strengths of humanity.
4. Question your unkindness.
Notice when you are about to be nasty to someone, and introspect yourself over it. Evaluate how your actions affect other people.
Kindness is its own remedy: There is enough research to prove this. Honestly, you don’t need any statistic to know that a kind gesture, a helping hand, and an empathetic ear are ways that ultimately heal the human spirit and fulfill our often misguided and meandering souls.
Key Takeaway That You Can Pin Up
Always be kind—for others, as much as for yourself.
Congratulations on having completed the course on Overcoming Mindless Negativity. I hope you can now gracefully let go of negative thoughts in your daily lives, in sustainable ways that you can implement.
Just remember: Our minds have a funny way of forgetting all the good stuff easily. So, keep reminding yourself of positive things—about you and those around you. Learn the habit of looking at the good stuff first.
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