Category Archives: kindness

Kindness Always

One Million Acts Of Kindness is a goal. A goal for each person to individually perform One Million Acts Of Kindness in their life. Can you imagine a greater goal for one’s life? It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years. Doing for others and kindness in your heart for everyone. It is my wish that you will dedicate your life to a charity… finding the passion in your heart for something or someone in need.

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As a father of three college age kids I am concerned for the world in which all kids will live. A great way to create a safer, more caring world is for everyone to start their lifetime goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness. So I bought a bus, had about sixty family members, friends and neighbors help paint it and began a ten year journey with my Boston Terrier, Bogart, to college campuses across the country hoping to convince as many of you as possible about this much needed movement for this world. I love you guys too much to sit back and not do anything about this. Let’s start a kindness movement in this country today to change the direction this world is headed!! You are the change that this world needs.
—  Bob Votruba, http://www.onemillionactsofkindness.com/

Learn more about this amazing man and his journey at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


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Support Yourself

By Dr. Nancy Buck (originally posted December 4, 2014)

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Good relationships are built on many things, including accepting, encouraging, supporting and trusting one another. But a good relationship with others alone is not enough. Strong mental health that leads to happiness must include a good relationship with YOU. That means we each must consistently accept, encourage, support and trust ourselves most of all. For many  this practice feels like a stretch.

Research suggests that most people have an easier time giving and supporting others with compassion than we do turning that inward. And studies link self-compassion to lower anxiety and depression. Another benefit is increased optimism, better relationships and greater overall satisfaction in life. This practice will improve your physical as well as mental health.

Here’s how to get started:

• Notice when you give or receive acceptance, encouragement, support or trust to or from another.

• Notice when you start discounting, discrediting, blaming or beating yourself up.

• As soon as you notice any of the above moments that lack self-compassion, immediately change to a kinder or gentler thought or statement.

• Continue to practice noticing how you give and receive these kindnesses to your family, friends and loved ones

• Continue to practice noticing and changing all moments of disrespect and lack of self-compassion

Reflection: Take the Second Step: Use Your Brighter Lights

By Debbie Crinzi         

For a driver, bright lights are helpful to illuminate the road so it stands out clearly on dark nights. Road debris can be avoided.  You can see details much better with your brights. Use these lights when you don’t have a clear map for where you are going and when you sense anxiety rising. You also need them when feelings plummet and your body is tired—when emotions cloud your mind.

In the last blog we talked about turning the bright lights on. This involved relaxing your body and calming your mind. The truth is that our mind becomes our worst enemy. When problems arise, the mind creates a lot of chaos trying to out-think the problem. In order to hear even ourselves, we have to quiet the mind all the stories we are creating that increase anxiety and despair. We turn our lights on by relaxing our facial muscles, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. We concentrate on our breath – breathing in and out — until only the breathing in and out occupies our brain. When sneaky thoughts filter back, set them aside and go back to focused breath. After you are able to concentrate on your breath despite stray thoughts distracting you, it is time for the next step. Now bring into your thoughts something beautiful and meaningful.

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Step Two involves switching lights into brighter lights by reminding yourself that you have much to appreciate and be thankful for. Your worries are just one piece of a whole life. Take your calmed mind and focus on something beautiful or peaceful. For some people it is the image of the object of religious worship; for others, it will be a close person or a pet who is special to them; for yet others, perhaps a place such as a personal garden, the ocean or the mountains – a place representing joy and beauty. For someone else it will be saying an inspirational chant, prayer, song, or poem.

Which is it for you? Take some time right now. Choose something that makes you happy. Relive the experience in your mind, dwelling upon the things that make you smile. Acknowledge these positive memories. Surround yourself with them. Again, you are in charge of your mind. If sneaky, anxious thoughts creep in, consciously set them aside and go back to these joyful memories.

Until you take charge of your thoughts, it is difficult to think rationally without strong emotion tearing you down. You need this time of calming, then of rejoicing, before you are ready to listen to yourself reflect and work out issues and concerns. So take the time. Remember, controlling your mind instead of allowing it to control you is a habit that only occurs through practice. You don’t need to wait for crises to rain down upon you to practice. Take a moment each day to relax yourself, focus your mind on breath, and then fill your mind with happy experiences.

Random Acts of Kindness

By Dr. Ken Larsen

  I used to carry a card in my wallet that had two messages.

One was something attributed to Lincoln sayinghappypeople that people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

The second was encouragement to do something nice for someone and don’t get caught.

Occasionally I encounter exceptional service in a store or office.  I like to write letters to that person’s superior, telling of my very positive experience.  One lady traced me down and told me that my letter had been part of the reason she got a major promotion.

I like to look for heartwarming smiles.  First I like to smile back, and then I like to tell the other person how pleasant they look.

That was reversed on me recently.  I was in the Dallas airport going through the security line.  One lmartinlutherkingady directed me to another line.  She was pleasant, not surly.  I smiled at her.  She looked at me and said, “with that smile darlin…” and she went on to make a lightly flirtatious comment.  I have to admit that I smiled on the inside, too. J

I don’t like to focus on physical appearance or clothing because that can be seen as flattery, which I want to avoid.  That’s why I like the word “heartwarming”.  Something that sends a message of life and goodness is worth recognizing.

Of course the takeaway message here is that what you give in love and kindness you get back.  So let’s give a bunch today.motherteresa

Be Kind to Yourself

Contributed by Denise Daub

When You Treat Yourself With a Little More Kindness, These 6 Things Will Happen by 

Do you ever call yourself names? Do you replay your mistakes in your head over and over again? If so, you’re not alone. Harsh self-criticism is pretty common.

But beating yourself up for your mistakes and punishing yourself for your failures could backfire. Being too tough on yourself may actually hinder your performance. Multiple studies show that treating yourself with more kindness could be the best way to gain better results.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-morin/kindness_b_8244822.html?ir=Healthy%20Living?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Going Beyond Our Beliefs

by Barnes Boffey, Ed.;  Director of Training, Aloha Foundation… www.alohafoundation.org

My whole life I have been limited by my own imagination. I mistakenly believed that what I could imagine was as good as it could get. I was convinced that my mind was showing me a future which was reality, not aware at all that it was my personal fantasy often based years of limited thinking and fear-based projection.

Not really understanding that has hindered me continually. When I think about a change in my life or aspiring to be more honest or thoughtful or loving, I need to realize that what I envision may have very little to do with the actual possibility of who I might become. If I let go of my own expectations and both trust the process and seek the advice of people who have what I want, I am much more likely to go beyond my expectations than if I assume they are real and finite.

This has played itself out in what I consider to be my personal mantra:  “ Show Up, Pay Attention, Tell the Truth and Release the Outcome.” Releasing the outcome is crucial in the process of personal change or we get to a place where we don’t see what is “there,” we only see what we expect to be “there.”

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A friend of mine has been in AA for years, and as we talked about this idea, he related the story of a member he respected who always said, “If you keep coming to AA, your life will be more beautiful than you can imagine. And if you don’t believe that, please believe that I believe that.” He told me that speaker gave him something to think about, and allowed him to piggy-back on that member’s faith in ways he was not yet able to do himself. He went on to say that he had listened to speakers who talked about their connection with a higher power in ways he never could have imagined. They helped him break out of his rigid “religion-based” view of a higher power and break open a new “spiritual” view that he was able to work with and today is the foundation of his life.

I continue to look for people who can help me dream beyond my own dreams.  At some level, I need to remember that “If you want to be a man you need to see a man,” or “If I want to be loving, I need to see loving.” There are so many people who don’t realize that their greatest gift to the world is just showing up and being themselves; just showing up and being willing to live life in their own unique way. By seeing lives that surpass our own in areas in which we want to excel emotionally , we are all able to forge new awarenesses of the people we might become.

Thanks you to those of you who showed me the kind of courage I never thought existed; to those of you who showed me the faith I never believed attainable; and to those of you who showed me the kind of honesty I didn’t think was possible in the real world. When I see these things, I can no longer pretend they are simply ideals with no foundation. I see they are real and I am challenged and drawn toward those aspirations myself.

My AA friend said it his own way: “I have become someone I never thought I could because I saw people in real life who were sober the way I want to be sober. “It’s simple, he said. “If you want to be sober, you have to see sober.”

 

 

“But I’ve never cared for the sound of being alone.”

Dr. Ken Larsen

I recently saw a post on Facebook suggesting an unpopular response to the senseless acts of violence that punch their way into our world.  The clamor of “someone should do something”, can be turned into “what can I do?” 

When we see someone alone and friendless, what can we do to reach out with kindness and compassion?  Neil Diamond’s lament seems relevant to the loneliness and isolation experienced by so many in our world today.

“I am, I said

To no one there

And no one heard at all

Not even the chair.

I am, I cried

I am, said I

And I am lost, and I can’t even say why

Leavin’ me lonely still.” *

indifferenceI think many of us can recognize the emptiness expressed in these words because we’ve felt it ourselves.  I know I have.  Finding our way to mental health and happiness is enhanced when we find a way to reach out to the other when we see this loneliness.  This requires us to look at the misery in our fellow humans rather than look away.  And then, once seen, we can respond with something as simple as a smile, a kind word…anything that gives the other the gift and experience of being seen with kindness rather than indifference.

https://youtu.be/sxDyXK93o6g

 

What are your character strengths?

Contributed by Denise Daub

By Rebecca Scholl

Honing in on your strengths — whether its expressing kindness, gratitude or honesty — can improve your daily life. Being kind to others can actually boost your cardiovascular health. Expressing gratitude has been linked to more optimism. Being honest may improve your overall health.

Happify, a website dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, organized a detailed infographic explaining how you can use your personal character strengths to improve your own life. Take a look at it below and get inspired to tap into what makes you unique.

Read more…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-use-your-character-strengths-to-improve-your-life_55ae5a35e4b07af29d5656eb?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003