The Power of Kindness: 6 Ways to Show Kindness Every Day


Kindness: A Path to Healing and Connection

In a world where compassion often seems scarce, acts of kindness can be transformative. Kind words or gestures hold the potential to calm the burden of mental health struggles and the challenges faced by those grappling with substance use disorders. Also, practicing kindness can enhance our own well-being, fostering a sense of purpose, empathy, and connection with others. Join us as we explore the profound impact of kindness on mental health and substance abuse, along with six thoughtful ways to integrate kindness into our daily lives, especially when encountering people in need.

The Science of Kindness

Scientific research consistently highlights the profound effects of kindness on mental health. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia revealed that engaging in acts of kindness leads to increased happiness, reduced stress levels, and improved overall mental well-being. Such acts trigger the release of dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter, promoting feelings of positivity and contentment. Kindness not only enhances our emotional state but also strengthens social connections, fostering a sense of belonging and support.

Kindness as a Beacon of Hope

For individuals facing mental health challenges or struggling with substance use disorders, kindness can be a lifeline. Simple acts of compassion can provide comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and validate their experiences. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, receiving support from others significantly contributes to better mental health outcomes. By extending kindness, we become agents of change, promoting recovery, and offering hope to those in need.

Kindness is a Key Ingredient to the SouthLight Way

“I believe kindness is important at SouthLight for many reasons! Kindness can truly go a long way when we extend it in any form. Of course, it starts with our clients. Kindness towards a client can look like a smile, holding the door open, or asking how their day is going. It can also be shown in our dependability, consistency, and competence in the work that we do. I also believe that kindness is important at SouthLight within the interactions staff have with one another. Kindness creates a safe space for individuals to truly be who they are, feel accepted and appreciated. Now that I think about it, kindness is a key ingredient to the SouthLight way.”

—Natalie Moses, CADC, Qualified Professional – Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

6 Thoughtful Ways to Show Kindness

Offer a listening ear.

Take the time to genuinely listen to someone’s story, without judgment or interruption. Simply lending an empathetic ear can make a world of difference.

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Practice random acts of kindness.

Surprise a stranger with a small gesture of goodwill, such as paying for their coffee or leaving a heartfelt note. Even the smallest acts can brighten someone’s day.

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Volunteer your time.

Engage with local organizations that support mental health or substance use recovery. Offering your skills and time can provide invaluable support to those in need.

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Educate and advocate.

Challenge stigmas surrounding mental health and substance use disorders by raising awareness and promoting understanding in your community.

Express gratitude.

Show appreciation for the people in your life who have supported you. A heartfelt thank you can strengthen bonds and cultivate a culture of kindness.

Practice self-kindness.

Remember, extending kindness starts with yourself. Prioritize self-care, be forgiving of your own mistakes, and cultivate self-compassion.

Mural created by @Jondotlea  

Jon Leonard teamed up with @verizon for their #ACallForKindness Campaign to help spread kindness through art. You can see the mural he created in Raleigh, NC at North Hills.
Mural created by @Jondotlea. Jon Leonard teamed up with @verizon for their #ACallForKindness Campaign to help spread kindness through art. You can see the mural he created in Raleigh, NC at North Hills 

Cultivating a Kinder World, One Act at a Time

In a world that often seems overwhelmed by challenges, practicing kindness can be a powerful force for change. By extending empathy and support to those struggling with mental health or substance use disorders, we foster an environment of compassion and understanding. Simultaneously, each act of kindness contributes to our own well-being, creating a positive ripple effect in our lives and the lives of others. Together, let us embrace kindness as a transformative tool, nurturing mental health, fostering connection, and illuminating the path to healing and hope.

Remember, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.


Sara Broderick Cooper

About the Author, Sara Broderick Cooper

Sara Broderick Cooper, a seasoned marketing professional with an MBA from Strayer University and a BA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University, brings a unique perspective to the field of kindness, substance use, and mental health. With a personal connection to these issues through her family’s history, Sara is fueled by a deep passion for increasing access to treatment, educating about mental health, and reducing the stigma surrounding these topics. Working for SouthLight, she finds purpose and fulfillment as she believes she can make a direct impact on individuals’ lives