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Thanks for everything…

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is Kindness. It’s never been more important to promote the message of good mental health for all, look out for one another and stay connected.

So what kind thing could you do today? Any act of kindness, however small it may seem, can have an effect. Taking time to listen to a friend, cooking a meal for your family, thanking someone who has impacted your life – these simple actions will make you feel good, whether you’re the one giving or receiving.

To celebrate this major event – and spread kindness our own way – we are offering a free Be Kind book with all Breathe and Teen Breathe subscriptions (in the UK only). Here is an extract:

When was the last time you said thank you to someone and really meant it? Noticing and appreciating the good things around you really can change your life for the better.

The great thing about gratitude is that it actually helps you more than the person you’re showing gratitude towards, because when you feel thankful and happy with your own life, you are naturally more grateful and don’t feel you want or need as much. Researchers in the US have proven that ‘gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improves their health, deals with adversity and builds strong relationships’. And a study by the University of California even found that students who score high on gratitude have more friends and do better at school. So here are some easy ways to show your appreciation…

  1. Write on: Put down your tablet, your laptop, your phone… because there’s no better way to say thank you to someone than by writing to them. Whoever you are writing to can see the effort you have made and it feels so much more personal than a text or an email. A card, a letter, even a poem, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
  2. Give it time: Giving your time is a wonderful way to show your gratitude. Suggest watching a film with someone in your family you haven’t taken time to think about recently. […]
  3. Start a family tradition: Make gratitude a habit – suggest you all go around the dinner table saying one thing you’re grateful for, noting small things you’ve enjoyed that day.
  4. The gift of giving: Think about the people around you – what could you do to show someone you care? Walk the dog, feed the cat, tidy your room, clean the car or offer to cook dinner – you’ll be surprised how much difference these things can make. […]
  5. Cheer up a friend: Text or email a picture of something that’s inspired your appreciation – a sunset, a silly pet pose, a drawing – to a friend who needs a boost to help them see the world differently.
  6. Keep smiling: And remember, you can make someone’s day by simply smiling at them. Whether it’s a stranger on the bus, someone serving you in a shop or to provide support and encouragement for a friend – smiling is contagious.

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