Kindness Matters: this has been my mantra for 2021. When immersed in conversation, whether online or in person, different views emerge. I’ve learned to honor each person’s point of view. It doesn’t signify that I agree with their opinion; often, I do not. But whether we concur with others’ positions or beliefs doesn’t matter as long as we respond with kindness.
At first glance, we feel the challenges when confronted with strife and conflict on social media, television, and even on our neighborhood streets. When friends and family see things differently than you, it throws you off-kilter. It’s not usually personal; most people perceive their truths through deeply ingrained cultural and family beliefs. That’s how they comprehend life.
How can we navigate these often-turbulent waters when you look around and discover your lifeboat has disappeared?
When you’re in over your head, don’t struggle. Fighting against a riptide can lead to disaster; instead, release and take a deep breath. Bring in the higher vibrations of love and kindness.
Easier said than done? No. Not really. Here’s an easy fix; it’s a hack anyone can do: smile. That’s it. That’s all. It’s that simple.
Here’s a little secret that I learned years ago in my training as a psychologist: You don’t have to feel like smiling; you just need to smile. Force it. Make your lips curve upward. Make your eyes crinkle into a smile, but then you’ll notice something that’s almost magical. That smile that you just contrived? It becomes real, it becomes genuine.
How? Smiling creates a hormonal rush throughout the body. As our brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, these chemicals flood through the cells of our physical forms. The end results? This chemical rush elevates your mood, enhances your immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces pain.
But there is more added value to this simple act: The smile isn’t just for you, there’s a ripple effect. Smiling jump-starts a process of using our heart to expand. Within moments, a bubble of energy surrounds our physical bodies, affecting everyone we encounter. Suddenly, we realize all those little things that troubled us aren’t as bothersome.
Intuitively, you take a deep breath and look around with a different perspective. The sky is a little bluer, the air a little fresher, and everything around you shines a little brighter.
Embracing kindness as my mantra served as my compass to navigate the storms of life from 2021. At times, it was my lifesaver, keeping me afloat—and all I had to do was smile.
What’s in store for next year? I recently posed that question to the messengers.
You can view the answers below in my video: