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Create a ripple effect with an random act of kindness

Butterfly Effect

Ever noticed how good it feels when someone does something nice for you? Ever noticed how it feels to do something nice for someone else? The simple act of promoting kindness no matter how small can have a huge impact.  “The Butterfly Effect”  comes from the Chaos Theory – whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Small ramdon acts of kindness work in the same way and they can be contagious!   Giving a small act of  kindness it about giving something of ourselves as human beings.  It makes both the giver and the recipient feel good or valued. These small acts of kindness actually have a positive effect on our overall well being and the well being of others.

A sense of self

As human beings we are social creatures by nature.  Early humans knew the importance of being part of a social group.  It provided protection (safety in numbers), the hunting and gathering of food, the sharing of knowledge and skills, all of which helped to increase the chances of suvival.  Research shows that being part of a functioning group or community also helps to provide a sense of self, validation and cohesion through the sharing of ideas, skills and tasks.

Many people living in the World today are faced with a variety of social and economic pressures. These can constrain the individual and distort the sense of self.  The added pressure and overload of social media delivering tradegy and  balanaty can result in leaving us feeling isolated, fearful and inadequate.

Kindness is good for your body and soul

When we commit an act of kindness we trigger the release of  Oxcytocin  (our love hormone) into our bodies.  Oxcytocin  has cardioprotective qualities.  It releases a  chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels and therefore helps to lower blood pressure and protect the heart.   Oxcytocin is also released when we see others commit act of kindness. In this case Oxcytocin increases our optimism and self esteem which is why when we see an act of kindness we are more likey to carry one out ourselves.

Research carried out by University of Britsh Columbia highlighted a positive impact on anxiety and stress.  A group of highly anxious participants committed to make at least 6 acts of kindness a week. Their results showed a general increase in mood and relationship satisfaction and a lowering of anxiety after a month of taking part.  In another experiment by Christine Carter at UC Berkeley (Greater Good Science Center) participants reported feeling calmer and less depressed and others fedback they felt more energetic and stronger after they has helped others.

Carrying out small acts of kindness particulary towards others who are struggling in some way increases our feeling of grattitude of what we do have and develops our empathy for others.  It can also help us to try new things which aids self confidence and self esteem increasing overall life satisfaction.

Love Yourself Too 

Being kind to others is one thing but what about being kind to ourselves?  For many people giving “self kindness” is hard when we are focusing on so many pressures and looking after others. It is however important for our personal physical and emotional well being.  In a study by  Bluth et al 2016 called “Making Friends with yourself”  in which  participants were asked to carry out small acts of kindness for themselves showed that those involved reported experiencing less stress and anxiety and increased their ability to have more self-compassion alongwith improved mood.

Be a butterfly and spread kindness

Its official, being kind is good for you. Whether its being kind to yourself or carrying out a small act towards someone else start spreading those beautiful wings we all have and create some kindness. It will travel a long way!

Ideas for kindness acts

* buy the person behind you in the queue a coffee at the coffee shop

* have a clear out and donate to a charity shop

* switch off your phone and have a relaxing bath or read a book

* smile at the next 3 strangers you meet

* spend 5 minutes talking to your neighbour

* give a friend a hug or why not hug yourself 🙂

* give someone a compliment

* thank someone for what they have done for you

* compliment yourself on an achievement

* buy a homeless person a coffee or a sandwich

* let someone pull out in front of you in a traffic jam

*    pick up some litter and put it in a bin – kindness towards our environment

You can find more ideas on random acts of kindness at the web link below

https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-kindness-blog/2943-50-kindness-ideas-for-random-acts-of-kin…

Have a beautiful day xxxx

Niki

Hello World

Connect with the world (and beat the fear)

hello, salut, hei,

Welcome to my first blog here at Humansense. I have decided to take the plunge and start a blog, something I have wanted to develop for a while but put off because like many of us experience anxiety and fears that stop us from doing things. For me, writing means putting myself out there, my anxieties focus around “what if I get it wrong, what if I am not good enough or worse still what if nobody is actually interested”?!

“But your’e a counsellor” I hear you say.  Yes I am, as is Dom but we experience a range of emotions like everyone else. We swear, laugh, get sad, feel anger,  we have disagreements, sometimes we argue and we make mistakes. What we aim to do is negotiate our way and learn from our experiences in what can be a beautiful as well as a harsh World.

So, here we are. Taking a risk, like we all do when we start or try something new.  We don’t know where it will lead or if it will be a success, they key thing though it that you made the first step, had some faith and took some action.  My hope is that we can create writing and resources that you will find interesting and helpful, thought provoking and supportive, uplifting and positive and of course a good dose of humour!

We are looking forward to sharing our experience of being therapists and human beings and our knowledge we have gained so far. Our resources and blogs will cover all sorts of issues from coping with anxiety and stress, managing conflicts, using strategies to manage difficult emotions, relaxation techniques, getting the best out of ourselves and increasing personal happiness!

We also hope our blogs and resources we will be creating  will help trainee therapists  gain insight into what is important when working as a therapist, caring for self and others in the process and useful strategies for helping others get the best from their sessions.

We hope you will join us in our new adventure and we hope it inspires you to start your own.

speak soon

Niki

Feeling Flighty? Get Grounded

 

Butterflies in your stomach, feeling sick,  dry mouth, quickened breathing, sweating? Sound familiar?  Well if it does you are not alone.

Anxiety can be felt by anyone. In fact most recent statistics indicate that there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK (Mental Health Foundation 2013) and thats just those officially recorded.  Globally the second most prevelent mental health issue was anxiety (depression being the first – will come to that in another blog) Global Burden of Disease 2013.  As therapists, anxiety is something we work with a lot. Helping clients understand what anxiety is and how it effects them is important in coping with anxiety.  A technique we teach to clients to help manage anxiety is Grounding, its really simple and very effective, a great tool to have up your sleeve.

So what is anxiety?
Basically anxiety is a primeval survival mechanism that alerts us to danger and helps us to deal with emergencies by preparing  the body to “fight” or “flee” and is commonly known as the “fight / flight” response.  Anxiety is what we can feel when are worried or afraid and is often linked to thoughts about things we think may happen immediately in a situation or things we think might happen in the future.  Feeling anxious isn’t nice and for some it can be overwhelming and very frightening.  Panic attacks are an extreme anxiety reaction are can be completly debilitating for the person experiencing them.

Triggers and symptoms
Anxiety and triggers can be as unique as the person experiencing them.   There are however some common triggers that can influence anxiety difficulties  – childhood difficulties such as experiencing a loss or separation, past experiences such as bullying or social exclusion.  Current life stressors including financial problems, work pressures, exhaustion or being out of work.  Physical illness such as living with a serious health condition or mental health problems  such a depression can trigger anxiety as can taking certain drugs or medications.  Typical symptoms include fast heart rate, sweating and hot flushes, nausea, pins and needles,  trouble sleeping,  jaw clenching and headaches and other body pains.

Grounding for anxiety
Grounding can be done at anytime, anywhere.  You can ground standing, sitting or laying down.  When you feel yourself becomming anxious – heart racing, feeling hot, racing thoughts………follow the steps described below and tame your anxiety.

1  STOP .  You can say Stop in your head, out loud, see a stop sign etc – whatever works for you.  You can literally stop what you are doing and stand with both feet on the ground, if you are sitting put both feet on the ground.

2  BREATHE.  In through your nose and out through your mouth at a steady pace (if you need too, count in your head to  3 for breaths in and then the same for breaths out).  Really focus on the feel and the sound of your breath, take all your focus to it.  Do this 3 – 4 times or for as long as you feel you need to.  This can be sufficient in helping to calm you down and refocus, however, you can also do step three too.

3  FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION.  Keep your breathing steady  and focus your mind , try any of the following…

* take your attention to your toes / feet, feel them in your shoes or on the floor, wiggle your toes
* carry a small item with you in your pocket like a pebble or cyrstal and focus your attention on it, the shape, texture, temperature etc
* look around you and focus on something and really study it, like a picture, flowers, a sign. Break them down and focus on the colours, shapes, items etc
* what can you hear? focus on the birds singing or the rain pit pating, or focus on your breath
* as you breathe in and out just allow your self to slow down or have a soothing mantra to use such as ” I am able to “cope”  or “This will pass”

Allow yourself to just be in this space for as long as feel comfortable and then gently open your eyes and smile.  Great stuff. Now go and enjoy your day!

For more information on anxiety visit our downloads page at humansense.online

Niki