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Showing genuine kindness to ourselves and others

Showing kindness improves psychological wellbeing.

The measurable benefits of kindness for both givers and receivers, resulting in stronger social connections, is the focus of this year’s national Psychology Week running from 15–20 May.

Psychology Week is run by the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) each year to showcase the practical ways psychology can be used in everyday life.

Public events are being run nationwide on a variety of topics connected to the theme.

“We are looking forward to connecting with more of our community and invite everyone to join us to learn new skills to help themselves and their community flourish,” says Dr Du Plooy. Psychologists play a vital role in the community in educating, advocating and supporting positive wellbeing and mental health.

The Psychology Week theme, “Kia Atawhai – Showing Kindness”, highlights the value of acts of kindness in reducing stress and increasing resilience.

Research has shown that following an act of kindness there are positive biochemical responses in your brain that can lead to increased feelings of happiness, trust and self-esteem. Extending kindness to others also results in lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In addition to the positive effects on individuals, kindness also benefits community building. While society is grappling with so much division around the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, climate change, racism, discrimination and poverty, something as simple as a random act of kindness strengthens social ties and connection.

This intertwining of personal and collective wellbeing is embedded within Māori culture and tikanga. NZPsS President, Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, says “We have seen the effect that simple acts of kindness – sharing a meal, opening a door, helping out with the dishes – can have on reducing stress and increasing feelings of belonging and connection. We encourage everyone to take the opportunity to offer kindness to those around them”.

Free Psychology Week events are being held throughout the country, as well as online.

Locally, the Otago and Southland branch of the NZPsS is hosting a public lecture on Showing Genuine Kindness to ourselves and others on Monday 16 May at The Guthrie Pavilion from 6:00pm–7:00pm.

All are welcome to attend in person or watch online. Please check the Psychological Society website closer to the time for streaming link.

Date Monday, 16 May 2022
Time 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Audience Future students,Parents,Public,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni,Allied health professionals
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Lecture
DepartmentPsychological Medicine (Dunedin)
LocationGuthrie Pavilion, 2 Shore Street, Andersons Bay, Dunedin
Contact NameKobus Du Plooy

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