Kindness and empathy help us relate to others, build meaningful relationships with friends & family and even experience positive encounters with perfect strangers!
And while it may not always come naturally (for example, stress and other external influences can impact our mood, energy levels and capacity for positive interaction) there are a number of real-life benefits associated with the simple act of being kind.
How can kindness improve your health?
- Acts of kindness release 'feel good' hormones, including serotonin (which is responsible for feelings of wellbeing and satisfaction) and endorphins. This phenomenon is known as a 'helper's high'.
- Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin, which dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It turns out kind people really do have big hearts!
- According to numerous studies, people without a strong network of family and friends have a greater risk of heart disease. When you're kind to others, you naturally develop meaningful relationships and build a supportive network.
In summary, being kind could help you live longer!
With this in mind, here are four simple ways to be kind, and inspire others to achieve their weight loss & wellness goals. Why not try them out at your next Workshop, or on Connect?
1. Show you care
A quick text to ask someone how they’re doing or to offer your help can go a long way. If they're having a rough time, your words could inspire them to make a positive change, practise some self-compassion or refocus on their goals. Simply being there when they're struggling - or when they have something to celebrate - can make all the difference.
2. Be enthusiastic
Enthusiam is infectious: when you’ve got a personal cheerleader, it’s almost impossible to feel uninspired. Help a friend get excited about their journey by browsing through cookbooks for healthy meals to try, going to a new fitness class together, or scheduling some time to catch up on their progress and achievements.
3. Stay positive
Constructive criticism can be useful, but make sure your comments are phrased in a positive way, and try not to be overly critical. Even if you don’t mean it to be hurtful, someone who’s in need of a boost could feel attacked and overwhelmed by criticism. Instead of saying "I don’t think that’s the right snack for you", try "I came across this great recipe the other day – want to try it with me?".
4. Lead by example
If you want to help a friend, motivate a family member or simply be a good role model for your kids, the simplest thing you can do is succeed yourself! When you attend your Workshop every week, track all your meals, cook healthy food from scratch and schedule time for physical activity, you’re proving that it can be done. Encourage others to do the same, and offer any tips or advice you’ve picked up along the way.
If you need some kind words of encouragement, chat with our online Coaches 24/7 in the WW app.