In today’s world, more and more demands are being placed on each of us. We are all multitasking to various extents—attempting to juggle work, finances, children, spouses, retirement packages, car repair, home care, and the often forgotten self-care. Many days, we end up overwhelmed by the demands of life.
As a result, we’re often anxiously hurrying from one place to the next. Those places may be external—from the office to the bank—or internal, from one worry to the next. Anxiety and busyness trample over many things in life. But, most of all, they tromp over kindness.
When I’m in a rush, under pressure, or feel my wellbeing depends on my ability to immediately complete a task, I frequently prioritize getting things done over my own internal wellbeing and at the cost of the relationships around me.
If we consider the times when we’re most likely to act angrily or unkindly to our wives, ourselves, and our work, it’s usually at those moments of greatest stress.
Reducing the Busyness
Reclaiming kindness is not so much the act of adding more kindness to our lives.
There is already a soft, kind heart waiting to be found in all of us. It just sometimes gets buried alive under the busyness.
Rather, creating kindness is more about the reduction of the busyness, the anxiety, and the distress, so that our natural kindness has room and space to bubble up and to be expressed and experienced.
Of course, the task of reducing our stress in a world so full of demands is easier said than done. In reality, if we want to reduce our stress, the key is not likely to be quitting our jobs and moving out of our homes, or any other sort of major life change.
How to Reclaim Your Kindness
Instead, the key to stress-reduction for most of us comes from looking for the moments where we can slow down, catch our breath, and reassure ourselves.
We can slow our rhythm back down from the artificial rhythm of busyness to the natural rhythm of deep breathing.
And from that place of deep breathing, we can find a natural desire to communicate to ourselves and each other with vulnerability, humanness, and kindness.
Most people I’ve met are tenderhearted at the core. Sometimes though, we all get a little too busy to realize it. The work for all of us is to slow down enough to remember who we are at heart.