Paul Harris from Henlow talks about the importance of kindness for the week of mental health awareness | Instant News


PUBLISHED: 9:59 a.m. May 23, 2020

Paul Harris from Henlow has spoken about the importance of kindness for the Mental Health Awareness Week. Photo: Courtesy of Paul Harris

Paul Harris from Henlow has spoken about the importance of kindness for the Mental Health Awareness Week. Photo: Courtesy of Paul Harris

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Paul Harris from Henlow spoke to Comet about the importance of positivity for the Mental Health Awareness Week.


The theme for the Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness, but what does it mean to be good? Why is this so important?

During this pandemic we have seen many acts of kindness, and I do not only mean the great and celebrated efforts of several parties. I talk about little things that might not be noticed; stopping to make room for someone to walk past you at a safe distance, asking how someone is doing; good can be big and small, what matters is how it makes us, and the people around us feel it.

This crisis has created a lot of anger and animosity, and I think this is why kindness is a very appropriate theme to focus on, not only this week, but moving forward.

For me, you cannot have good without understanding. Some people say “we are all on the same boat”, but is this true? There are already great posts doing social media rounds that challenge this way of thinking.

While we all face the same storm, we are not on the same boat, and this is where understanding emerges.

Everything about us is unique; from our minds to how we react to certain situations; everyone’s experience is different. Problems arise when we forget this and try to impose our own opinions on others, just because we follow what makes sense to us.

Kindness and understanding are emotions that are very important to master, not because they are the ‘right’ way to behave, but because positive emotions can have long-term effects on our health.

Research has shown that negative emotions such as anger and hatred can be a significant cause of illness and premature death; they can cause special damage to our cardiovascular system. Some evidence now considers the effects of hostility as a major factor in heart disease, the same as, or perhaps more than traditionally recognized risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Goodness does not stop at how we treat others; it’s also about how we treat ourselves, and I think this is the most important aspect we need to think about this week. Many of us focus on our own weaknesses and failures.


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