My guest blog this month comes from Simon Gamewell, Content Producer at TAP – Thank And Praise. TAP is a social thanking platform that aims to improve the wellbeing of those working in education, healthcare and social care by sharing stories of thanks and gratitude. In his blog Simon explains how linking kindness and gratitude is good for our health.
We all know that kindness is good for those around us. People are kind to us everyday. Whether it’s something simple like holding a door open for us or letting our car into the traffic or something more significant like taking time to listen to our friends’ problems and offering support and encouragement.
Kindness is all around and we can encourage people to be even kinder through the power of gratitude. Recognising the kindness of others will not only validate their kind actions but will spur them on to be even kinder. It also encourages them to be more grateful and the ripple effect of gratitude will spread far and wide.
Good for us
But what if kindness and gratitude had a beneficial effect on ourselves? Well, being engaged in any of the stages of kindness and gratitude does have a positive effect on our physical, mental and social health. If we are putting kindness and gratitude at the very heart of everything we do it will benefit our own health and make the world around us more appreciative and kind.
Kindness is so good for us! It has a positive impact on our physical health. It slows down the ageing process, increases our energy levels, and reduces stress.
Kindness and gratitude mark a moment in time, and split our day into manageable positive chunks.
When we act kindly we start a shockwave of positivity. Our kindness encourages others to express appreciation and also to be kinder themselves and this launches one of those chains of gratitude!
The Dalai Lama said:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Rewarding kindness with gratitude
Always reward acts of kindness with gratitude. If someone is new to your workplace be kind to them and if you are the new kid on the block say thank you.
The TAP platform connects those wonderful acts of kindness with expressions of gratitude.
For example, we received a story of thanks from Marlbora who not only started a new job but was also adapting to a new country. In a message to her new colleagues, she said:
Many thanks, both of you girls for being so supportive to me in my new job here in the UK! You are so patient and always try to make things easier for us. It was lovely to work with both of you.
One of the great aspects of kindness is that we can build up a store of positive emotions produced by kindness. It’s like a goodness bank. We store up these moments of kindness and these moments will help us in times of adversity, making us more resilient.
Kindness and gratitude also make our social health stronger. When we are grateful and kind we form stronger and more meaningful relationships. We feel psychologically safe and are able to express our opinions without fear of reprisal and it encourages deeper levels of conversation.
When we create an environment where we are kind and don’t judge, we don’t isolate ourselves from others, we engage with them and truly listen.
It’s easy to practise kindness and compassion, it doesn’t take a lot, just a little extra thought and an act of kindness can really make someone’s day. When we make kindness and gratitude part of our daily routines, it helps improve both our own lives and those of others.
Simon enjoyed a long career teaching English in South East Asia, where he often received messages of gratitude from his students. In 2016 he had a life changing accident which left him in a wheelchair with a spinal cord injury. This put him on the opposite side of gratitude, for the healthcare workers who cared for him. Simon came to TAP because he realised the potential of giving and receiving gratitude has the power to make the world a more positive place. You can find him on LinkedIn