I have just listened to a brilliant podcast about kindness (twice!).  Dr Rangan Chatterjee (Feel better, live more) interviewed Claudia Hammond. Claudia is an award-winning broadcaster, author, and visiting psychology lecturer at the University of Sussex. She also presents BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind. Claudia was talking about her latest book, The Keys to Kindness, and her mission to encourage us to look out for the acts of kindness that are all around us.

In the interview Claudia shared the results of the world’s largest in-depth study on kindness. She highlighted the wide range of mental and physical health benefits for both giver and receiver. Did you know that people can lift heavier weights when they recall an act of kindness they have done? Kindness can also protect us against stress and burnout and help us live longer. What’s not to like? The study also revealed that the biggest obstacle to being kind is the fear of being misinterpreted or looking stupid in front of strangers.

Acts of kindness improve everyones wellbeing

We know that receiving an act of kindness improves the wellbeing of others. But Claudia’s research suggests that it improves the wellbeing of the giver even more so.

The #bmFamily💜💚 is packed full of kind people, to see it in action just read some of our blogs about charity fund-raising, volunteering, mental well-being and speaking up about ED&I. It’s a tough time for many people at the moment- from the War in Ukraine, and inflation’s impact on everyone’s finances. Christmas whilst jolly for some, can also be a sad and difficult time for others. 2022 has not been a great year for me, but lots of people have been very kind to me and made the year more bearable. I want to recognise these individual acts of kindness and encourage everyone to spread more kindness.

How can acts of kindness make a difference?

At the end of the podcast Claudia challenged us to see how we could make a difference with kindness. I remembered that the #bmFamily💜💚 created a calendar of kindness a few years ago with Vanessa King – Board member of Action for Happiness. I have refreshed this for Christmas 2022. The #bmFamily💜💚 will be sharing daily ideas for small acts of kindness. They don’t cost money. And we can build them into our everyday life.

Claudia even suggested doing 5 acts of kindness in one day – a concentrated boost will make you feel even better. Ask yourself, ‘how can I make my workplace kinder? And how can I use kindness to leave this situation better than when I got here?

5 things I learnt about kindness

  1. Being kind to others starts with being kind to yourself.
  2. Kindness has a PR problem. It’s sometimes seen as a bit throwaway, undervalued and weak.
  3. There are tiny acts happening all the time – look out for them – become a ‘kindness twitcher’
  4. Really listen to people- understanding others’ feelings will develop empathy
  5. Every small act counts and has the potential to create a big impact.

Please feel free to download the Calendar Of Kindness full of ideas to inspire you. The #bmFamily💜💚 will be posting and sharing our acts of kindness throughout December.

You can listen to Claudia’s Kindness is a Superpower podcast here.

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