The Case for Love and Kindness
November 21, 2016
by Kim Childs, CPPC
As we prepare to celebrate the annual feast of Thanksgiving, it’s an anxious time in America. How are you doing? Feel free to let me know. I’m listening, and holding us all in compassion.
Meanwhile, I’m truly grateful for you – my students, clients, readers and kindred spirits – and for the important work that I get to do in this world. Last week I received an early holiday gift from a former coaching client who reports doing well and says, “I want to thank you again for all your help and guidance. It has made a real difference in my life.”
Among other tools, helping others and sharing kindness is a sure way for me to feel better when the going gets rough in my life and in the world around me. I’ve been finding ways to practice it online, in my circles, and in my neighborhood this month, and it always does my heart good. Researchers have learned that this “tend and befriend” response to life’s big challenges can lift our mood and lower our stress hormones.
My favorite neuropsychologist Rick Hanson has written more here about the benefits of “loving someone” for greater happiness and well-being. He says it’s a proven way to feel better under stressful conditions that leave us rattled, frozen, or unclear about what to do. “After awhile, you do what you can to change things for the better, but often there’s not much you can actually change, and sometimes nothing at all,” Hanson writes. “Still, there is always one thing you can do, no matter what. You can always find someone to love.”
Loving others can range from kind words and gestures to activism and community service. What can you do this holiday week to make someone’s day better or care for someone in need? Hold this intention and see who shows up to be on the receiving end of your love and kindness.
As for me, I have a new being in my life who showed up just in time to help me tend and befriend. Petey is three months old and full of sweetness, playfulness, and affection. While I’m the one giving him a home, food, toys and love, he’s the one “rescuing” me during a tough time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you. I’m grateful for love, kindness, good people and purring kittens.
Kim Childs, CPPC, is a Certified Life and Career Coach specializing in Positive Psychology, Creativity, and Midlife Transitions. Click here to learn more and schedule an initial consultation.