Kindness is the emotional super food of life – 3 steps to cultivating a life of kindness on purpose

 

We all need some kindness in our life. Yet when life becomes busy we can forget about taking the time to be kind to ourselves or others. When this happens, we miss out on the softness that is possible in each day and we loose opportunities to really connect with ourselves and each other.

 

In my work as a therapist I have worked with many children and adults who have experienced great suffering and sometimes no kindness at all. As I work with them I see a pattern. The less kindness they have; the more shut down they become and the less empathy they have for themselves and others. Whether it is bullying at school or at work or more serious acts of harm – without an understanding of the way their behavior impacts upon others – they become lost in their own lives.

 

My work with people has shown me that kindness is the greatest anecdote as it is an access point to empathy.  When we cultivate kindness we naturally grow and develop empathy.

 

This simple fact opens up powerful ways we can work within our community, corporations and schools to create cultural change and bring a greater sense of empathy and kindness into our world.

 

Inspired by this insight I developed the Kindness On Purpose program© -a program that cultivates empathy through purposeful acts of kindness.

 

Kindness On Purpose© has begun in primary schools, and I have been using the program with some of the children and adults that come to see me in my private practice. And the initial results at an individual level have been amazing.

 

I am seeing children who have never experienced a positive relationship finding ways to feel a sense of connection with others through the use of kindness. The reason why kindness works is because it is impossible to engage in acts of kindness without being aware of how the other person is feeling. Kindness is all about the feelings of others and your own feelings too.

 

Kindness is the emotional super food of life. The more we focus upon it; the happier and healthier we become. We all deserve to feel good. It is easy to nourish our lives with kindness. Here are some steps you can take right now to bring more kindness into your everyday life.

 

 

  1. Begin with kindness toward yourself. I once heard someone say “Begin where you intend to end”. I love this quote as it reflects a strong belief and knowing that I have about life. If you want to experience more kindness in your own life then a great first step is to engage in acts of kindness toward yourself. Kind words and kind actions are easier than we think and help us to feel really good.
  2. Sharing kindness with others. When we help others the secondary gain is that we end up feeling really good ourselves. And we can all genuinely help another. Kindness can be a simple smile, buying a coffee, mowing a lawn or just sharing some time and listening. The list is endless and its simple really. People who are kind have better health, are happier and feel a deeper sense of belonging in their own communities. It’s a key ingredient to a good life.
  3. Savour the feelings that are unique to moments of kindness. Kindness is good for both your emotional wellbeing and physical health. There is research that shows that engaging in acts of kindness and even thinking about kindness stimulates the reward center in our brain resulting in the release of  dopamine. Dopamine is the ultimate ‘feel good’ hormone; and gives us a natural high.

 

Further it has been shown that when people actively seek to reduce the suffering of others there is more activity in the areas of the brain that relate to communication, emotional regulation and positive emotions. In other words; when you engage in acts of kindness you also help yourself to communicate better, managing feelings of sadness, anger and fear more easily and feel a greater range of positive emotions.

 

We all deserve to feel good and to know the wellbeing that comes with kindness. As you step though your life today I hope that you are visited by many moments of kindness.

About Katrina Cavanough

Katrina Cavanough operates two sides to her practice. Her mainstream work with people and then the other side - her spiritual practice. The Kindness On Purpose Program rests within the mainstream side of her practice, so is therefore separate to her work in the spiritual genre. 

Katrina Cavanough is a woman who ‘knows’. Her ability to connect to the past, present and future has allowed her to offer insights, healing and inspiration to thousands of people as a grief and trauma therapist, a life strategist and a spirituality coach. She believes we all have the power to tap into with our own wisdom system in order to create lives full of happiness, wealth and health.

Katrina Cavanough has been featured successfully on major national TV, print and radio media in Australia as one of Australia’s leading Intuitive’s. She is the Intuition & Spirituality Coach on Balance By Deborah Hutton and is a regular contributor toMariaShriver.com.

Katrina Cavanough is the author of Wisdom for Your Life (Allen & Unwin) and Happy Little Hearts – a meditation CD for children. Katrina’s favorite role is that of mother to her daughters Phoebe aged 7 and Kate aged 5 and wife to her husband Alan.

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Katrina,
I know that you posted another article in Metaphysics as well. Basically, I have the same feedback as the other editors. 

Here are some basic guidelines for submission:

Title: maximum 60 characters (including spaces)

Article: 700-1,200 words

Author Bio: 400 characters (including spaces and links) – approximately 60 words

As well, we like to keep our articles written as inclusive as possible. This means using the words 'we' versus 'I'.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank-you.

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