“The longer I live, the more I notice how valuable it is to do one simple thing: be kind.”– James Clear
In my work with life coaching clients through the years, I’ve learned that kindness counts. Kindness matters. Small, random acts of kindness can make all the difference in anyone’s day.
Kindness can be misunderstood as ineffectual or even superficial. My clients find kindness is inspiring, powerful, courageous and wise. It’s disarming, compelling and transformative.
In any given moment, the kindness you offer to yourself or to others can impact what happens in the very next moment.
I’ve been personally inspired that many of my clients practice kindness even when they are struggling with some pretty big issues of their own. These acts of kindness shift the focus away from their own problems.
Think about the last time you felt you were truly kind, without any obligation – and without expecting anything in return.
How did it make you feel?
Actual scientific studies show that thinking about, observing or practicing a kind act stimulates the vagus nerve, command central for the parasympathetic nervous system – the one that helps us rest and digest.
Once that parasympathetic response is triggered, our heart rate slows, intestinal and gland activity picks up, and the entire GI tract relaxes.
Kindness also triggers the reward system in our brain’s emotion regulation center releasing dopamine, the hormone that’s associated with positive emotions and the sensation of a natural high.
My Kind Life Coaching Clients
I was inspired by my kind life coaching client Lisa*, who is currently working on a career change. She has had to tap into all of her inner resources: courage, patience, and personal exploration are a few.
While she was committing to her own life change, I noticed she continued to keep others’ needs on her radar. Lisa practices what she calls “Selfish Generosity.” In her words:
“I am thankful to the hard-working folks that clean our city’s streets. With that said, I always carry a couple of ‘snack packs’ with me. These little packets contain healthy treats like organic trail mix and KIND bars. I add a pretty folded napkin, express my thanks and share a lovely exchange.”– my life coaching client Lisa
This is one of Lisa’s many acts of kindness. In the midst of her busy life, she has discovered that her Selfish Generosity is a win-win situation.
Another client, Sally,* is trying to find a job or a fulfilling volunteer situation that will help her with her empty-nest days. She has excellent skills from previous employment but is feeling out of touch after years of not working outside the home. She lacks the confidence she once had to charge into the job hunting scene.
While Sally worked on her resume, she decided to practice kindness by volunteering at a LBGTQ organization. She was delighted with the door that opened for her there. That little boost led her to a whole new community, connections and possibilities. In fact, Sally said that she is “growing and expanding’ as she notices that many more possibilities are still ahead.
As an unexpected side benefit, she’s beefing up her resume with these added experiences.
Maggie* has volunteered with her church for years. She came to me for life coaching ready for a dramatic change, but afraid to take it. We discussed the risks and rewards related to fulfilling her dream. She decided it was now or never to go on a trip to Africa for short-term work at an orphanage.
The training for that program, the other participants she met, and the work she did while there have all helped her clarify her own future goals.
Kindness—which has been scientifically shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression—can literally put us, and others, at ease. It works wonders in the relationships we have with ourselves and with everyone else, even with people we don’t know. Like magic, it opens up whole new worlds of possibility to us.
My Life coaching clients have so much figured out before they even call me. They are typically kind, successful people – but they still yearn for something more out of life. Unlike self-study through self-help books or the Internet, I work collaboratively with my clients. Unlike your friends and family, I am trained to help you notice your behavior and make the changes that will move you forward. The value of coaching is that it is more effective than listening to advice from others. You are the one to make discoveries and changes with my support, and a little kindness along the way will energize you during your transition.
Contact Catharine Ecton for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation to discuss the possibilities. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person.
*All Life Coaching client names have been changed to protect confidentiality.