Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kindness decreases Stress

Much fear and anxiety is based on a self-centredness. It is natural, in many ways, to be centred on the self. The human organism does need to watch out for itself. At the same time, a constant preoccupation with our own concerns can make our world seem very small. We can spend so much time thinking about our assignments, our finances, our relationships, ourselves, that we don't even realize that we are actually thinking the same kinds of thoughts over and over and over .... and that these thoughts can be creating a physical stress reaction in our body.

Some interesting studies have shown that developing compassion is a good way to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time for a kind action can be very simple. Getting out of your own thought circles and thinking of someone else is like allowing fresh air to clear your mind

Some simple ideas for practicing acts of kindness once a day:

Thank a teacher for their work

Help someone with a computer problem

Wash someone else’s dishes

Hold a door open for someone with a load of books

Smile at someone

Take a moment to notice the cafeteria staff - learn their names - say hello.

Say good morning to security staff.

Noticing the people in your environment is a simple way of getting out of your mindlessness.

Being kind to yourself is very worthwhile as well of course! Taking time for 5 slow, deep breaths is worth far more than the constant problem solving mode our minds are usually caught up in.

Good luck.

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