How kindness can reduce stress

By Leon Taylor

business-woman-meditating-at-her-desk-meditationI have recently launched a series of classes focusing on Mindset and Movement.  In each session we review our mindset, looking at ways to help manage our mental wellbeing and support us during this challenging time.

One way of doing this is by understanding more about us and how our mind works.

Did you know that kindness is the exact opposite to stress? Dr David Hamilton’s book, The Little Book of Kindness, explores just that. This book is based on the concept that you can combat stress using kindness. The exact opposite emotions we portray when stressed is kindness and if we can enhance those feelings of kindness we can reduce our stress. A random act of kindness releases positivity, makes our recipients and us feel better, it can release oxytocin, enhance mental health and it can give you a natural high. The great thing about kindness is that it is teachable and contagious; when someone else is kind, you want to be kind as well!

Dr David Hamilton suggests a meditation exercise called the metta bhavana.  I have been sharing it, guiding others through it and following it myself. This mediation focuses on giving kindness to yourself, others around and someone you might have negative feelings towards. Research indicates that this practice produces physical changes to the brain. In particular it causes the empathy and compassion regions of the brain to grow.

 Repeat this series 3 times over

May I be filled with loving kindness, and be well, peaceful and at ease, happy and free of suffering.

Then repeat, replacing ‘I’ first with someone you’re close to, a loved one etc; then with someone neutral, a neighbour, the postman, someone who you haven’t interacted with much; then with someone you find difficult, you have negative feelings towards them; and finally with all sentient beings, people, animals, insects.


I have 3 Mindset and Movement classes a week and you can book here.

About Leon Taylor 

Leon TaylorBritish former competitive diver Leon Taylor has always loved sports. At the age of 12 he became national champion and went on to represent Great Britain at three Olympic Games.  Leon was injured after taking part in the Olympic Games in Sydney and underwent two reconstructive surgeries. It was after this that he won silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Following his retirement from professional diving, Leon has been talking openly about his personal experience with mental illness. Recently he held a TEDx live event with a speech aimed to help people realise how regularly engaging in a long-term physical activity that they enjoy can be an effective intervention on mental health issues.  As Covid-19 spread around the World, with the Olympics rescheduled and with everyone on lockdown; Leon found himself having to think and adapt his career.  He quickly created an online concept for those who wanted support both with their fitness and mental wellbeing.  Mindset and Movement was born.    Leon’s aim is to help people think better, feel better and move better.  The classes are held 3 times a week on line.

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