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Mental Health Awareness Week: What is kindness? - Written by WWTW Mental Health Therapist Caroline Lacey

Kindness is a quality, or value, and is seen in our social behaviours towards others. To be kind is to act in a way that shows genuine thought for, and a feeling of compassion towards, another person.


To act kindly is not to do so because we expect some kind of reward, recognition or recompense, but because our ‘moral compass’ knows it truly matters.

 

Acts of kindness mean different things to different people, and there’s no right or wrong.  Some of the ways in which we might act kindly are:

1. To be considerate

  • Checking in on someone and asking if they are ok
  • Asking if a vulnerable / self-isolating family member, friend or neighbour needs anything from the shops whilst you’re there
  • Using manners with everyone who does something for us (directly (e.g our local Postie ) or indirectly (e.g the supermarket worker stocking up the shelves)
  • Writing someone a note to say we have been thinking about them
  • Letting someone go first

2. To be generous

  • Spending time with someone
  • Sharing something we have, whether that be material items, or information, knowledge, skills and experience
  • Giving a small donation to a charity or local cause
  • Buying for a pay-it-forward coffee at a cafe
  • Donating to a charity close to your heart
  • To celebrate in someone else’s achievements, to cheer them on or give them a high-five

 3.To be friendly

  • Giving someone eye contact as they talk to you

  • Giving someone a smile
  • Saying hello and making conversation with someone new
  • Using words which reflect tolerance, care and compassion

It is equally important to extend the same intentions and behaviours to yourself as well - you are just as deserving of kindness as everyone else.  


What small thing can you do today to show kindness?