May 21, 2020

Teaching children about kindness

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is ‘kindness’. When we think about kindness, we often think about the effect that it has on others. But kindness is such a simple but powerful way to improve our own mental health.

At 52 Lives, we help to change someone’s live every week and inspire people to be kind. We also run a School of Kindness, providing free kindness workshops for thousands of primary school children every year. By helping children to understand the science of kindness and the effect it has on their minds and bodies, we’re helping to empower a whole generation to take control of their own physical and mental health.

We teach children that their actions matter, and that the little choices they make every day have the power to determine the kind of world we live in.

Here are 3 ways kindness can improve our mental health…

  1. Kindness helps us feel happier. When we’re kind, when someone is kind to us – or even if we just witness kindness – it releases a feel-good chemical in our brain called dopamine, which gives us a natural high and helping us to feel calm and happy. It’s a natural way to lift our mood. (It’s sometimes called a helper’s high)
  2. Kindness reduces stress and anxiety. Research has shown that kindness reduces stress hormones in the body and helps us to feel calmer.
  3. Kindness connects us. Kindness helps us to feel closer to those around us and builds strong communities, where we feel supported. During this Covid 19 pandemic, it has been kindness that has brought people together and helped us to feel connected even when we’re apart.

“You’ll never have a completely bad day if you show kindness at least once.” ~ Greig Henry Quinn.

Want to learn more? We have a range of free resources and kindness lessons available to download, and are also running free Virtual Kindness Workshops for primary school children during the lockdown.

www.schoolofkindness.org

www.52-lives.org

This blog is written by Greig Trout, Co-founder of 52 Lives, and friend of Role Models. After surviving cancer twice, once as a child and then again as an adult, something didn’t sit right with Greig. He started to feel nervous, couldn’t sleep and got a rash all over his body. Soon thereafter he was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). What he didn’t know was that one brave decision would change it all for him. Greig set off on a journey that would take him once around the world. For two years he travelled to show other patients on things they can look forward to when they are out of treatment.