Heartache, Health & Happiness

Published in Elephant Journal 2019!

Opportunities for kindness ~

It’s World Kindness day on Wednesday November 13th. World kindness may seem overwhelming, but a firefly spark of kindness initiates the butterfly effect. One small gesture may make someone else’s life easier or happier. It could be a smile in passing, an honest compliment or a few minutes of your attention with eye contact;)

Ever notice in the midst of heartache, hurt or being hammered on, it’s a small act of kindness that can make your heart melt ~ just because someone noticed and took the time to care. The cool thing is, that act of kindness, the feeling of being cared for and caring for someone else, can change the neurological pathways in your brain & stimulate the release of happy, feel good endorphins in your body – for the gifter and the giftee! Both being and doing kind makes people feel seen, heard, validated, acknowledged, appreciated and to a degree, loved.
While writing this my daughter said, “Heartache?! That’s not good!” But we talked about how through heartache, it lends perspective for what another person may be experiencing, which is empathy. Understanding, making the time to understand another person, is kindness.

Opportunities for kindness are everywhere! Tying a little kid’s shoe; letting someone else have the parking space; holding the door; putting your super-smart-phone down as soon as someone starts talking to you and looking at their much more interesting and animated cute face; saying thank-you! And… The hug; the hug is kind. A 30 second hug can boost your immune system: for both people!

Kindness is a gift given freely with no expectation, but the gift of kindness has an exponential return on investment yielding health and happiness for yourself and others. This Wednesday, on World Kindness day, I would encourage you to notice your opportunities for kindness & take them! You may not see the butterfly effect that was initiated from your kindness, but notice how you feel, and then go from there.