Given that it has been Mental Health awareness week this week, with a particular focus on kindness, I thought that it would be apt to post the culmination of a research project that I did a while ago on ‘Responsive Listening’.
I have attached a booklet and a poster, which were both as part of our research. These outline the various types of listening, and how to develop the way that you lesson to become more of a considerate person. I recommend the ten question ‘quiz’ as a way of analysing your listening currently. By becoming a responsive listener, I strongly believe that you also become a kinder person. Therefore, I hope that you will be able to put the tips in the booklet into practice, as it will not only help other people around you, but, being kind also has scientifically proven benefits for yourself. When you are kind, your body releases oxytocin, which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism.
My thoughts on the current state of young people’s mental health: I would say that the biggest challenge at the moment is that of feeling alone. If you were then to start feeling disappointed, or sad about something, this issue is exacerbated by the feeling of being alone. Therefore, I would stress the importance of communication to friends (I know how much better I feel after coming off of a call with a friend), but also other hobbies too. For example, something which people are often encouraged to turn away from, computer games, can actually really help. Not only are you doing something that you enjoy, but also, it is often with a friend, and usually one feels better afterwards. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should sit doing this all day – but something of this nature can be good to relax in the evenings for an hour or so.
This brings me onto my next point of routine. With a dramatic change to our lives, our routines have been knocked off course, and it may be hard to find a new routine, but it should be strongly encouraged to do so. This routine should include exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
Finally, now is a great time to try meditation. Not only will this help now, but if learned properly, this can be carried forward into the future.
Overall though, be kind, as even the smallest action can make a massive difference!