“Imagine a world, Where we look out for each other, Where we all pay it forward, Where we measure success in selfless acts, Where kindness is the philosophy of life,
This is the world I want to live in!”
Many of us value the effects of kindness. Scientific studies have shown that random acts of kindness are good for you! These acts may improve your life satisfaction by increasing your sense of belonging and self-worth, and they may also improve your health by decreasing your anxiety, depression and blood pressure. And here’s the best part: these benefits apply to the giver of kindness, the recipient of kindness, and anyone who witnesses the act! Every act improves the lives of at least three people.
So, why kindness? Scientifically? Because it’s good for your health. Economically? Because it’s free. Practically? Because it’s easy. Socially? Because it improves the world.
The ripple effect starts with one. One person to hold open a door. One person to leave a note on someone’s car complimenting their awesome parking skills. One person to write a thank you letter to a teacher. One person to be a spark of kindness when another really needs it. Here are a plethora of ways to be that person. Everybody has the potential to change the world. For more information on The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation click here!
If you find yourself constantly focused on the negative side of things — what’s wrong with you and others — perhaps it’s time to focus on what’s right. Consider trying this and joining the ranks of those who know the benefits espoused by the burgeoning field of “positive psychology.” Positive psychology looks at what makes people happy instead of focusing on disorders. The field has found certain truths about happiness that are important to remember, such as:
- Money doesn’t buy happiness — unless you are buying something for someone else.
- Good social relationships, feeling happy, and having a strong character all contribute to the ability to survive life’s setbacks.
- Happiness begets more happiness. Being happy leads to good outcomes at work and in life, which leads to more happiness. It’s a great cycle!
Next time you are feeling down, try thinking about different positive aspects of your life and how those thoughts can improve your mood. If trying to shift your focus to positive thoughts proves elusive to you, you may benefit from a mental health self-assessment.
Complimentary, Confidential Screenings Available
Be Kind to yourself and Check on Your Emotional Well-being. This step takes fewer than 5 minutes and can make a big difference. A great place to start is a mental health check-up. The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s NJMentalHealthCares Helpline offers free, anonymous online mental health screenings in cooperation with Mental Health America. Self-assessments are available for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD and bipolar disorder, as well as screens for youth and parents. Click here to take a mental health screening. After you complete a screening, you’ll receive customized feedback and be provided a zip code search to locate local assistance in determining next steps. You may even want to print out the results and review them with your healthcare provider.
Who Cares! We Do! The NJMentalHealthCares Helpline staff is available to assist with mental health screenings. The number to call is 1-866-202-HELP (4357) (TTY 1-877-294-4356). The screening only takes a few minutes and provides confidential results and information on where to find treatment.
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey strives for mental health for children and adults through advocacy, education, training, and services.