Depression can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience, but research has found that one of the most effective strategies for managing depression is simply being nice to those around us. Whether it's a friend or family member, a professional acquaintance or even a stranger on the street, taking part in small acts of kindness has been demonstrated to have positive impacts on mood, help combat loneliness and ultimately reduce depression symptoms.
Opt for politeness
Being kind and polite to others carries many mental health benefits, from increasing self-esteem to promoting peace and balance. With the knowledge that you have done good unto someone else, it boosts the overall mental well-being of both the individual receiving kindness, as well as the individual performing kindness.
Additionally, many believe in a philosophical concept of karma, what we put out into the world will come back around tenfold. By staying conscious about our interactions with others and always opting for politeness and kindness when interacting, we create a ripple effect of kindness to last throughout our lives.
Give small tokens of appreciation or compliments
Being nicer to your friends and family can go a long way in improving relationships. A great place to start is by recognizing the efforts of those around you. Giving gifts, small tokens of appreciation or compliments, both verbal and written, goes a long way. It doesn’t have to be expensive gifts either! Showing that you recognise someone’s hard work can mean so much.
Additionally, make sure to listen when they are talking. Take the time to truly understand where they are coming from and allow yourself time to think before formulating a response. Simply caring more will show your loved ones that you support them and value their presence in your life. Let your actions prove it!
Being rude to strangers is not recommended
Being rude to strangers is not recommended, it's best to be passive when you are uncertain of how to interact. Sometimes small conversations with strangers can lead to better and deeper conversations and long-term friendships. With a positive attitude, it's easy and enjoyable to become acquaintances with new people.
Make eye contact, smile and be courteous when engaging in conversation - offer phrases such as 'hello' or 'good morning'. Ask thoughtful questions that can open up some great dialogue.
You don't have to socialise or talk extensively if it isn't your style but even the simple acknowledgement of a stranger can make all the difference in their day.
Maintain a positive attitude towards others
Keeping a positive attitude towards others can be difficult, especially when faced with challenging situations. It is important to remember that everyone you interact with is a product of their environment and history. While understanding people’s motivations may be impossible to completely comprehend, it doesn’t have to prevent us from fostering healthy interactions.
Exercise empathy by looking for the best in someone and remember that everyone struggles in life at some time or another. Ultimately, by trying to remember what we all have in common, keeping a positive perspective on others can go a long way toward improving communication and relationships throughout our lives.
Social interaction is essential for good mental health
Social interaction is essential for good mental health and well-being. Studies have demonstrated positive correlations between quality relationships with family, friends, and colleagues and overall better mental health outcomes. A lack of social interactions can lead to loneliness and depression which can contribute to poor physical health over time as well. Connecting with others to share experiences creates a sense of belonging and strengthens the feeling of acceptance in society.
Through mutual efforts that foster positive social interactions, we create meaningful connections, learn more about ourselves and others, improve our problem-solving skills, boost self-esteem, and buffer against life’s stressors.
Therefore, engaging in regular social activities such as attending networking events or chatting with friends at coffee shops are beneficial for improving mental health.
Avoiding personal attacks
Dealing with difficult people can seem overwhelming and frustrating, but it is a skill that can be learned. It's important to approach confrontation with empathy and understanding, looking past their unpleasant behaviour while still standing firm in your beliefs.
Whenever possible, before escalating a situation, try to pacify the individual by addressing their feelings. If the confrontation escalates into an argument, do your best to remain calm and listen without interruption; validating their feelings while avoiding personal attacks. Practicing these tips will put you in the best position to resolve issues quickly and effectively when dealing with difficult people.