Recently I read an article in Psychology Today. I was reminded of a time when I had gone into a bank to do some business over the counter. The teller was distressed about something that had happened earlier, before the bank had opened. I was the first in line for the day and she was getting ready for a busy morning. I smiled and said “good morning!” She smiled back and clearly, her mood changed.
In my career, as a counselling psychologist, I learned that we respect our clients by considering their ‘problem’ from the perspective of what is currently important to them. This allows us to explore our way out of ‘the problem.’ After all, those feelings are getting in the way of realising that the client holds a key to success of encounters. Working as a counsellor trainer, I taught students to listen and reply to their exploration with feeling words. It is their feelings that stand in a client’s way, and when they discover this in turn they contribute to my sense of purpose. If I don’t give them insight, my sense of purpose is lost!
Scientists have discovered there are a variety of positive health benefits for patients witnessing healing in another person. They have documented an increased production of serotonin and that has helped alleviate the client’s depression.
In an article from Underground Health Reporter, I discovered a list of ways to extend the act of kindness to others. It’s a good list, and worth passing on:
- Smile at strangers … especially those having a bad day.
- Volunteer your time to help where ever there is a need.
- Watch movies that display kindness.
- Write a note to let someone know they are loved.
- Give compliments often.
- Give up your place in a line to another person.
- Donate blood.
- Write a thank-you note, especially to someone who’s not expecting thanks!
Kindness, empathy and understanding of another person adds richness to your life. As you sow, so shall you reap.