Want to feel better while also making someone else feel better? Join in on Random Acts of Kindness Day where you can do something nice for a complete stranger, a family member or a co-worker. You also can express kindness anytime for those in your life who may be experiencing mental illness.
- Share your concern. Say things such as, “I care about you and I've been worried. Can we talk about what you’re experiencing?”
- Listen actively. Show respect, compassion and understanding. Say things like, “I know you’re having a tough time now, but I understand and want to help.”
- Be patient. The person with mental illness challenges may not be communicating very well now. Give them the opportunity to talk and open up, but don’t press.
- Share hope and encouragement. Remind them that the right treatment will help. Offer your support and connect them to help if you feel they need it.
Help is available! Visit the Mind Your Mental Health website or contact your program to learn more about how to help yourself or someone you care about.
This month, Stamp Out Stigma is highlighting the power of kindness. You never know if someone is experiencing a mental health condition, and many physical disabilities are invisible. Practicing kindness encourages patience and empathy. It’s our job to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness by sharing resources and starting conversations. Here are some important facts you should know:
- After a month of a group of highly anxious individuals performing at least six acts of kindness a week, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
- When you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
- When we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.
- Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy.