Kindness to ourselves is at the heart of our resiliency. It’s the quiet, gentle power of kindness that nurtures us and unleashes the natural protective strength within us, boosting our natural capacity to adapt and to thrive under new conditions.
Step one is to create a lifestyle that is kind to your mind and body. It is a mark of kindness to be self-compassionate, to care for ourselves. People who are self-compassionate are better able to recover from disappointments and find the silver lining in things. Compassion also strengthens the immune system and buffers the effects of stress by reducing cortisol.
Mindful activities are a great way to care for ourselves in this way. Let your daily walk be a chance to explore all the sounds, sights, sensations and scents of your journey. Indulge a luxurious bath or some mindful movement such as yoga. Even the time you take to brush your teeth can become a wellness ritual as you enjoy the tastes and sensations of brushing with a kind toothpaste brand such as Zendium.
Trust your own strength.
We are all capable of tremendous strength and resiliency. With a little practice you can develop your trust in your own abilities to support yourself – even if that still means identifying and getting the help you need, which in itself shows great strength.
Think of times in your life when you felt strong or showed resilience, such as taking a stand or passing an exam. Make a list of as many instances as you can think of and keep it for when you need it.
Boost your inner strength.
To develop this further, we can work with the natural capabilities of the body to keep us healthy and well. Our immune system, nervous system and microbiome in the mouth and gut work together in close relationships to support us in the face of difficulty. We in turn can support these systems through practices that help to boost our inner strength.
By taking care of your sleep, eating well, or even brushing your teeth with a toothpaste like Zendium, which strengthens your mouth’s natural defences, you can nurture these systems and create the conditions for your inner strength to shine.
Tend your wounds.
When times are difficult you can be kind to yourself around that too. Like tending a wound, take a caring, attentive attitude towards your pain. Fold your hands over your heart and just say to yourself, “I know this is difficult right now but I really appreciate how you’re trying to make things better”. In this way you will learn to soothe the parts of you that feel angry, young or vulnerable.
As humans, we have evolved a ‘negativity bias’ to pay extra attention to things in our experience that are unpleasant (usually signaling danger). In evolutionary terms this makes a lot of sense and keeps us safe. However, in our daily lives this negativity bias tends to show up in how we feel about ourselves and our situations. Practicing gratitude is a great way to keep things in perspective.
Make a list of your best qualities and read it often. Counting your blessings at night and each morning is also a great habit to get into. Studies show this makes us happier, helps us sleep, alleviates symptoms of depression, and strengthens our relationships.
Kindness Towards Others.
When we are kind, oxytocin flows in our brains and bodies, reducing anxiety. When we are kind towards ourselves kindness towards others becomes more natural. Compassion becomes more effortless. Gratitude flows. And our worries start to lose their intensity.
To cultivate kindness, think of someone you feel naturally kind towards. A child, a loved one, or perhaps a pet. Sense your own kindness, and the pleasurable sensations of how that feels in your body and just stay with that for a few minutes. Explore turning that kindness towards yourself and others.
Empathy is the ability to sense and share in other’s pain and joy. It’s recognising that we all want the same thing – to be healthy, to love and be loved, to flourish in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.
When you someone you know is suffering, can you really open to that suffering too? One way to practice this is to become aware when you yourself are experiencing pain or loss that many others are also experiencing something like this at this very moment all over the world. That you are not alone. This will naturally open the gateways to greater kindness and empathy.
When we connect with each other the body produces oxytocin, which protects the heart both emotionally and physically from heart disease. Even digitally, it’s important to find ways to cultivate kind and nourishing relationships. Wanderlust and Zendium have partnered up to help you seek and boost your inner strength by connecting with our Mindful Community through practice and conversations that we hope will educate and inspire you to embark on a kinder path.
Natalie C Morrison is an activist, yoga and meditation teacher, and co-founder of As We Live & Breathe. Natalie’s mission is to inspire radical, loving action. Through her work, she shares practises and ways of living which help us to fully embody our innate capacity to care, and which help us to transition towards a more beautiful world. Connect with her via Instagram or her website.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ZENDIUM
Zendium toothpaste protects your mouth in a kinder way and is designed to strengthen your mouth – not fight against it. Its pioneering formula contains natural antibacterial enzymes and proteins to boost your mouth’s most powerful defence system: the oral microbiome. Zendium is kind by design. Instead of using harsh chemicals, Zendium uses ingredients that have a prebiotic benefit and is free from SLS foaming agent making it suitable for even the most delicate mouths.