• Tom Robinson

Random Acts of Kindness Week: how we can help to boost each other's moods and stay positive

Updated: Mar 4

Whilst reading and writing every day on the subject of mental health, and learning by sifting through articles and news stories, I am also discovering all the different awareness days that are celebrated annually throughout the world.


I have already covered 'Children's Mental Health Week' and 'National Hugging Day' in two of my previous posts, so in the spirit of staying current and topical, I'm starting this week by mentioning another international awareness event.


'Random Acts of Kindness Week', which started on Sunday, encourages us to help ourselves and others by spreading hope and love to one another through kind gestures and deeds.


I have to say that I do find the plethora of awareness days a bit excessive, but having thought about this particular one, I do feel that it is something that we ought to be considering, especially at the current time, with everyone feeling the effects of isolation and confinement.


Research tells us that both the act of giving kindness and indeed that of receiving it, evokes positive effects in our feelings, which subsequently boosts our mood. Small gestures and kind acts can literally be the difference between life and death to those that are suffering with severe mental anguish, so demonstrating kindness is especially important when considering how to help them.


I have mentioned this before but am going to reinforce the point anyway - we have got to get better at recognising the signs of distress in others and at treating mental illness in the same way as we do physical illness. Send cards, flowers and supportive messages, just as you would in any other situation, it's such hideous thing to go through that any emotional support or physical gesture is greatly received and appreciated.


The Random Acts of Kindness website provides us with suggestions for what we can do each day this week to support, encourage and boost good feelings in ourselves and others. I am going to discuss a few of them now and then add the link to the website at the bottom of this post.


According to the website the awareness week actually started yesterday which was also Valentine's Day, so those spreading love and kindness would have been rather busy! But, we are encouraged to create a 'kindness jar' which basically means taking an empty jam jar, noting down any positive acts that you did during the week, and depositing them in the jar as the week goes by. It's essentially a 'mind trick' to get you to focus on the positives, (not going to help the seriously depressed,) but still a nice idea.


Today, (Monday) we're asked to send a 'love note' telling someone how they've changed our life for the better, (Dr Zamar, I'll write to you later,) and then put it in the post.


Wednesday, which is also the actual day of random acts of kindness, we're told to focus on gratitude - has the inventor read 'The Secret' I wonder?!


On Friday we're told to take five dollars, (I knew this event was thought up by an American) and to make a difference with it - I would suggest donating to a mental health or suicide prevention charity!


Saturday is about reflection, taking the positives from both given and received acts of kindness, and reading all the notes in your (now over-flowing) kindness jar!


Although I admit that the whole thing is a little bit 'woo-woo', I do think that we can all do one or two random acts or gestures to boost morale and mood, so please let me know what you decide to do!


Please also keep the suggestions for posts coming, and as usual please think laterally about who would be interested in my site, and share the posts and web link to them so that more people can benefit from what I am trying to achieve.


My initial aim in writing this new blog was to help one person. I've now already helped two which just makes me even more determined to keep writing and campaigning.


There is so much I want to do for mental health in terms of education and reform and I am reliant on my readers to help me in this quest by spreading the word!


If you would like to know more about Random Acts of Kindness Week, I have added a link to their website here.


Thanks for reading,


Speak to you soon,

TR

www.dyingtostayalive.com






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