How kindness can help with your breakup.

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2020

When I was going through my divorce there were many acts of kindness from my friends and family that helped me to get through a day - that otherwise would have had no purpose or meaning.


During a breakup, being kind to both yourself and others can really help to improve your mood. It makes you feel happier and can help to relieve some of the stress which is inevitable during this time.


Show yourself some compassion – so be sympathetic and understanding of yourself. Try not to beat yourself up and dwell on all the negatives. You’re grieving the end of your relationship and that takes time and you’ll experience a whole roller coaster of emotions along the way.



What is kindness?


Kindness is all the different ways we express care, concern and consideration for both ourselves and others.


In ‘The Little Book of Kindness’, David Hamilton describes it as ‘an honest, heartfelt expression’ – ‘It can be a thought, a word or an act that is motivated by a desire to help’.


Current scientific research shows that kindness brings about lasting well-being. It’s also the most important predictor of stability and satisfaction in a marriage.


Kindness not only has physical effects on the brain, but on the heart and immune system as well as other parts of the body.


Did you know that kindness is actually the opposite of stress?


You might have thought the opposite of stress would be calm, chilled and relaxed – but these represent the absence of stress.


The opposite of stress in physical effects is kindness.


Stress produces hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which aren’t good for our bodies over a prolonged period of time.


However, when you’re being kind or someone’s being kind to you -the ‘kindness hormone’, known as oxytocin - is produced. You feel warm and connected.


Kindness produces the following effects in the body, which are the total opposite of what stress does:


  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Protects the cardiovascular system
  • Makes people happy
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Can be an antidote to depression


Being kind helps to buffer the effects of stress.


Being kind also has a positive effect on our brain. Our brain is like a muscle and if we exercise it – it grows. When we show kindness the kindness and compassionate part of our brain grows but the stress part of the brain also reduces at the same time.



There are 5 positive effects of kindness:


  1. Makes us happier - There’s been a lot of studies that prove that being kind makes us feel happier. In a study by the University of Texas, participants who did voluntary work had much lower rates of depression than those who didn’t. It’s believed that this ‘good’ feeling we get is due to higher levels of dopamine and serotonin in our brain which rise so we get a natural high. They also help to reduce the levels of stress and fear.



  1. It’s good for the heart – The kindness hormone causes blood pressure to reduce which means more blood can reach the tissues and organs. People in loving and affectionate relationships tend to have healthier hearts. Kindness also boosts the immune system.



  1. Slows the ageing process – It’s well known that stress causes ageing – partly due to the increase in free radicals and inflammation. Studies have shown that the kindness hormone reduces the levels of these free radicals and inflammation and so slows down the ageing process.



  1. Improves relationships – We all like people who are kind to us. Kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people, so we feel more bonded. This is actually a genetic thing inbuilt in us. John Gottman - a scientist who has done a lot of research on relationships - has shown through his studies that relationships where couples show acts of kindness and compassion to each other are 5x more likely to last.



  1. It’s contagious – Studies have shown that when we’re kind to others, it inspires others to be kind and has a ripple effect. Kindness spreads kindness.


It’s so important to be kind to yourself  – especially during a breakup. Self-care means we’re valuing ourselves and our needs and desires. It also gives us more energy to be kind to others.


During a breakup I know it can be as much as you can do to get through the day – let alone find the time and energy for self-care. If this is how you’re feeling - start by making a list of all the things you could do. It can just be small things like:


  • Going for a walk
  • Having a hot bath
  • Watching your favourite show or movie
  • Say No to something you don’t want to do!
  • Spend time with friends who make you laugh and feel good about yourself.
  • Do some yoga or meditation
  • Have an early night
  • Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a while.
  • Show kindness to someone else


I know even those things can feel like too much of an effort – but just try and do something for 5 minutes and see how you feel after. Try and make the time to build something into every day even if you have to force yourself at first. It’s part of the healing process to help you get over your breakup and move on with your life.


If you’re struggling to get over a breakup at the moment and need some support – email me at [email protected] and we can book in a free discovery call to discuss how I can help you.

You can also download my free guide – 10 Steps you can take right now to help you get over your breakup.





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