Mindfulness has also be termed ‘ kindfulness’ as it helps us become more self – aware of how we treat ourselves and others.
Our internal voice can be very self critical, reminding us of what we don’t like about ourselves, what we haven’t done or achieved and this eats away at our confidence, self belief and self worth. Practising mindfulness makes us more self -aware of our internal voice and if we choose to, to focus on the things we do like about ourselves, what we have achieved and what we feel happy and grateful for in our lives. When we do this we become kinder to ourselves, we learn to love who we really are rather than what we think other people want us to be. Mindfulness helps us to reduce our judgements about ourselves and become more aware of noticing the present in a non- judgemental way.
When we love ourselves a bit more when may then find we judge other people less, and find we feel more kindness, love and compassion to friends, family, work colleagues and strangers. If we wish everyone we meet love, happiness and kindness each day we reduce judgement, bitterness, anger and irritation all emotions that cause us to feel stressed, anxious and unhappy. Having positive emotions each day such as feeling love, kindness and compassion actually helps our bodies lower our internal stress response (fight or flight). Positive emotions towards our selves and others helps to lower our heart rate, blood pressure, reduce stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol and helps our body release immune boosting hormones DHEA.
Whilst Valentines day may be seen by some as a commercial enterprise it also gives us all a nudge to remember to be kind and loving to everyone as we would wish they were to us.