Kindness Is Contagious Too | READ

Feeling fed up with extended lockdown?

Want to brighten someone else’s day?

Join in and spread the kindness virus

My Auntie Nellie was the person who taught me the most about kindness. She was a Catholic Nun and served her community for over 20 years as Sister Ita. When I was a child she used to visit and stay during her holidays with our family of 6 and in hindsight I can now understand so much more about what she was intending to give us. One of her memorable mantras was ‘If you can’t say something kind then say nothing at all’. And whenever, in my twenties, I had a new boyfriend she would ask, ‘Is he kind Mary?’.

Kindness is often under rated, undervalued and underutilised in so many ways, and I refer to kindness for both ourselves and for others. And yet, when someone is kind to us, we remember it forever particularly if we are going through dark times of our own.

Oprah Winfrey often says that when she feels low, she immediately does a kind act for someone. The scientific research tells us that performing an act of kindness lowers blood pressure; oxytocin (the happy hormone) causes the blood vessels to dilate by releasing a chemical called nitric oxide. This dilation lowers blood pressure, therefore protecting the heart. There is both a positive physical and mental gift that comes from being kind, how beautiful is that?

At its very core, kindness is about empathy, being aware of your environment and seeking ways to selflessly enrich the lives of others. And giving to others benefits the giver as well as the receiver; it nourishes the spirit as it shifts our inner focus from ourselves to others.

I thought I would share some of the Kindness Gifts I have been sending which, selfishly, make me feel much better about myself in these rare and unique times. As Lady Gaga says,

During these lockdown challenges I have been searching for some free, quick and simple ways to extend kindness, outside of my family unit.

Research says if we do something kind to someone, that the ripple effect can be up to 125 times. If, like me, you are eager to help many people then just think of how many you can ‘touch’ with kindness if you multiply your kindness by 3! Let’s all ‘infect’ everyone with kindness.

What Kindness Gift could you send for free? I’d love to hear your ideas.