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October 14, 2023: In A Chaotic World, KIndness Can Make A Difference

In current times,  the news headlines and social media are filled with disturbing  images and negativity.  We read about heartbreaking events, are frightened about the vitriolic state of politics in our country, and are devastated to learn about yet another war that impacts innocent people. With current news available and at our fingertips, it is difficult to avoid the daily and steady onslaught of bad news. It is not a surprise that this non-stop diet of doom and devastation can increase anxiety, depression and stress.  But there is an antidote!  We can be kind and we can seek out acts of kindness.

The Power of Being Kind:

“Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a hormone directly correlated with stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer.

Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, decrease loneliness, combat low mood and improve relationships. It also can be contagious, encouraging others to join in with their own generous deeds.”

Physiologically, kindness can positively change your brain by boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters produce feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure and reward centers in your brain to light up. Endorphins, your body’s natural painkiller, also may be released when you show kindness.

Steve Siegle, Psy.D., L.P.C.-Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/the-art-of-kindness

Each day, we can set our intention with a simple question: “How am I going to practice kindness today?”  While we can’t change the events in this chaotic world of ours, we can take steps to ensure our own mental and physical health and well-being. Rather than focus and feel helpless about all that is wrong with the world, we can envision that our own acts of kindness are like pebbles tossed into a pond, with an ever expanding ripple of positivity.

The Power of Witnessing Acts of Kindness

“Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation.”

Natalie Angier, http://The New York Times https://www.randomactsofkindness.org

Once again, when we choose to focus on kindness rather than calamity and negativity, we can actively seek out and recognize acts of kindness. This attention on positive acts can be a powerful deterrent to feelings of anxiety and helplessness in a world that seems to have run amok.  Beginning our day with an intention to be kind to ourselves as well as others, and actively seeking and recognizing acts of kindness by others, are two powerful ways to combat the despair and fear-inducing news of today.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect my thoughts on kindness.  I’ve gathered inspirational quotes on kindness, gathered from sources that range from ancient times to the present.  Please feel free to comment and share this blog on kindness.  Like a pebble tossed into a pond, the ripples we can create from being kind are ever-reaching.

Wishing you a day full of kindness! 

Best regards, Wendy Oellers-Fulmer

Inspirational Quotes on Kindness

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the figure of a free people.  A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth.”

Albert Einstein

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light.  You’ll never know how much your caring matters, make a difference for another today.”

Amy Leigh Mercree

“Ask yourself: have you been kind today? Make kindness your modus operandi and change your world.”

Annie Lennox

“Constant kindness can accomplish much.  As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”

Albert Schweitzer

“I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love.  You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help.  There is no mistaking love.  It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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