Highland FM’s station manager Adam Stokeld recently penned an article for Southern Highland News in support of our Kind Hearts Campaign.
We are living in difficult and uncertain times. As Covid-19 is unfolding on our doorstep and is again threatening our community, we can’t help wondering if we will ever be free from this insidious disease. From the virus itself to social distancing laws, the impact on the economy and local business, our way of life is inherently disrupted.
How do we cope as individuals? Some take whatever life challenges in their stride. Others become stressed and intolerant and there are those that suffer depression or become isolated and withdrawn. Regardless of whatever our personality type, we are all in this fight together and need to adapt and change to suit the conditions. After all, we share utilities, commodities, space, thoughts and actions, experiences, words, love….the list goes on.
We can all agree that life is infinitely more pleasant if we all get along. It is important too that we value our friendships, increase our awareness of the beauty that surrounds us, listen more intently and simply savour the happy times.
Being aware of our surroundings, of others, our differences, our goodness begets understanding and tolerance and above all motivates kindness.
Did you know that acts of kindness boost your mood to lowering stress? The power of kindness is scientifically proven; kindness is greater for the giver than the receiver, so helping others is helping yourself, too. Kindness has a ripple effect as love spreads both ways.
Calvin Holbrook, freelance writer and editor for happiness.com writes “Science and studies show that being kind and helpful clearly has a positive and uplifting effect on those carrying out the act. But what exactly is happening in the body when you help someone out? Here are four ways keys in which the physical benefits of kindness can be felt.
1. Kindness releases feel-good hormones that boost your serotonin.
Endorphin levels also rise, leading to a phenomenon known as a “helpers high”.
2. Kindness can reduce anxiety which relates to an individual’s experience of positive moods such as joy, interest, and alertness.
3. Kindness may help alleviate certain illness
Apart from feeling good in spirit, oxytocin which reduces inflammation is also released with acts of kindness. According to Dr. David Hamilton, “oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and therefore oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone.”
4. Kindness can reduce your stress levels
“Helping others takes you out of your own mind and can potentially help to build relationships with other people. Anything that helps you to build bonds with other people is known as affiliative behaviour.”
In our busy lives, empathy, kindness and compassion are often overtaken by self-interest. Some people don’t seem to take the time to care, to lend a helping hand or to even notice what’s going on around them, as too often we are wrapped up in our own lives.
There are those that believe that showing kindness and compassion may be construed as weakness and could lead to being taken advantage of, oblivious that being kind often requires courage and strength. The truth is however, it’s in our human DNA to show kindness. Humans depend on the care of our caregivers to provide our needs. So knowing that kindness is fundamental to our existence, we’re literally wired for it.
Kindness doesn’t demand hard work or huge amounts of time or energy. It is not a gift to us but a gift that we can give to others. Kindness encourages tolerance and brings peace and happiness. Random acts of kindness and generosity of spirit are long remembered by both the giver and receiver and restores faith in our society.
We are living in particularly difficult times, everyone is affected in some way. Just one act of kindness could help those most affected get through another day.
If every Australian did one act of kindness a day for the month of July, that would be 775 million acts of kindness in Kind July.
Kindness is not something that demands hard work or huge amounts of time. It’s something all of us can strive to achieve every day and knowing that the power of the gift of kindness is immense, why wouldn’t you want to help others?
Highland FM 107.1 has partnered with Southern Highland News and Community Links Wellbeing, ReFrame to promote kindness in the community with our Kind Hearts campaign.
So join us and smile, say hello and be kind to each other.
The article was published in Southern Highlands News on July 5th 2021 and can be viewed here.