Are You Ready For World Kindness Day?
The end of the year means a slew of holidays. People prepare for the big ones, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, but did you know about World Kindness Day? It was created in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement and is celebrated every year on November 13. Approximately thirty countries recognize this holiday, but many people have never heard of it. The goal is to perform, promote, and celebrate acts of kindness done by individuals or organized groups in hopes of making the world a kinder place.
People who struggle with alcoholism, addiction, or a mental health diagnosis often feel strong negative emotions about themselves, including shame, guilt, and hopelessness. When these complicated feelings permeate their headspace, it can make the process of recovery more difficult. One way to combat this problem is to learn to focus on kindness, including being kind to yourself and others. When a person makes a habit of thinking of and treating themselves kindly, it can affect their self-work in other arenas, such as therapy and sobriety.
How to Start Being Kinder
It’s important to decide what kindness means to you. Sit down and write out answers to questions like how you define kindness. Consider how you can be kinder to yourself and how you would like to see kindness practiced more often in your community. Talk to friends and family members about this and see how they would answer the same questions.
Write out a list of ideas on how to begin your journey into being kinder to yourself and others, then pick one and start work on it. When you are used to being down on yourself, it may feel strange at first to try to change this, but with practice comes familiarity.
The use of positive affirmations can significantly change how a person sees themselves. You can compile a list of positive affirmations from an internet search, books, and your own imagination. Some suggestions include:
- I have value just the way I am
- I am not my past mistakes
- Even when I feel fear, I can make brave choices
- I will treat myself with the sympathy I deserve
- I am more powerful than my negative thoughts
- I am beautiful inside and out
- I have the tools I need to build a more genuine me
- I can move all obstacles out of my way
- I am loved, and I deserve that love
Each phrase is meant to build positive self-esteem. You can write them down on pieces of paper, fold them up, place them in a bowl, and choose one each day to concentrate on or work your way down a list. It may feel awkward at first, but consistent usage of positive affirmations leads to viewing yourself with more kindness.
Pay It Forward
We can all commit acts of kindness today that don’t pay off immediately. Many organizations plant trees in areas that need them or as a symbolic act of peace. You can look for a neighbor who has mobility difficulties and offer to plant a small flower bed in their front yard. You might volunteer for a group that helps disadvantaged youth by being a mentor. None of these activities will provide immediate results, but the eventual payoff will be beautiful to observe and have a long-lasting impact.
A Kind Message
Think of someone who has meaning in your life and write a note or letter to let them know how they have positively impacted you. You can hand-deliver it, put it in the mail, or send it electronically. Your choice of the recipient doesn’t have to be someone still currently in your life. It could be a close friend from school with whom you lost touch years ago, a favorite babysitter, or a co-worker you used to share lunch and laughs with at an old job. Everyone loves to be surprised by a message that they matter, and the memory of time spent with them has lasted.
Give an Unexpected Compliment or Gift
Have you ever been given an unexpected compliment, and it made your day? Look for opportunities to hand out genuine praise to a stranger, and you may just give them the best moment of their day. Consider telling a woman you pass in the grocery store that you like her earrings. Let an overworked retail clerk know that you appreciate the effort they make at their job. Moments of kindness often stick with the recipient and make them more likely to pass on the same practice to people they encounter.
If your budget allows, you might inquire about the total cost of the order for the car behind you in line at a drive-through restaurant and then pay for it. It will be an act of kindness the person behind you wasn’t expecting and possibly a real boost for them if they are having financial difficulties or a bad day.
World Kindness Day is every November 13. Activities that promote being kinder to yourself and others are essential to feeling good about yourself, which is a big part of how you address any mental health or addiction issues that need treatment. Silver Lining understands that you have spent a lot of time dealing with feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and shame. These feelings make it that much harder to obtain and stick with sobriety and a treatment plan for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other diagnoses. Our policy of treating small numbers of people in each group allows us to get to know you and the exact type of help you need to learn to be kind to yourself and achieve your goals. We help you flourish now and in the future. Let our Huntington Beach location be where you begin again! Call us today for more information. (866) 448-4563.