Self-Kindness Supports our Well-Being
Throughout history, many of the world’s greatest thinkers have talked about how kindness and friendliness are the foundation of well-being, happiness, and connection. It is also the basis of cooperation, which is a key function of empathy.
Research shows that a regular practice of kindness – in as little as two weeks – can improve our well-being. Developing a kind and friendly relationship with ourselves is one of the most powerful expressions of mindfulness practice.
We might all try to focus our attention on developing an attitude of kindness and friendliness towards ourselves. Just as extending kindness to others is important, extending kindness and friendliness to ourselves is a basic and powerful expression of mindfulness that can support our well-being.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your kindness and affection.” – Sharon Salzberg
As you sit and talk with a good friend, there are two qualities in place that exemplify the characteristics of kindness: interest and attention. These are the natural components of friendliness and kindness. Your friend is both paying attention to you, and is also interested in what you are saying. With self-kindness, we are practicing meeting ourselves with an attitude of kindness and friendliness – the same kindness that our good friend offers us.
The Lotus School is a high school community of compassionate, mindful, lifelong learners. Our students are able to meet life’s challenges with the confidence and knowledge of how their efforts can help create a better world for themselves and others.