kindness and anxiety

The Power of Kindness: A Solution to Public Speaking Anxiety

We all, eventually, suffer from anxiety in at least one situation in our life. The answer? Be kind. Kindness has been shown to have an effect in decreasing your anxiety levels.

Public speaking is the activity the majority of people fear the most, and it has high levels of stress and anxiety associated with it. Perhaps, it’s time to think about how being kind to others can help us to feel more positive before a presentation.

Kindness – supported by research

With quick research on Google is easy to find studies supporting this idea – kindness benefits the person being kind, protecting them from (or decreasing) depression and anxiety.

The presence of kindness seems to diminish the feeling of stress in all studies we could find.

Be kind to yourself and others

Kindness has many ways and directions. One of the first things you can do is to be kind to yourself. Stop criticizing each move you make, and focus on the improvements you’re getting, even if you think they’re small.

Now that you stopped beating yourself let’s focus on others. Put your anxiety and your strategies to deal with it aside and focus on being good to others, wish them well, and be happy with their accomplishments. Sound strange? Research guarantees it’s effective.

Why Kindness?

Performing an act of kindness towards someone takes the focus off ourselves and puts it on them. It helps you to get some distance, which allows you to decrease your anxiety levels. Besides, helping someone increases our well-being, which also helps to reduce anxiety symptoms.

On the other hand, helping others and doing good deeds makes you feel more connected from a social point of view. This is precisely what you need concerning public speaking. You need to feel connected, to feel good about yourself and others.

The amygdala region in your brain is associated with fear, anxiety, and trauma. Kindness impacts it. When you’re acting kind, your brain starts to produce oxytocin. This reduces the amygdala’s activity, significantly reducing the sense of fear and anxiety.

In the end, performing kind acts leads to overall improved life satisfaction. They provide a sense of purpose and meaning and improve social connections and empathy towards others.

What should you do?

Being kind or performing acts of kindness are mere expressions that translate a vague notion. There are endless deeds that can be considered acts of kindness, and each one of them is good to make you feel better about yourself.

Nonetheless, we decided to give you some simple yet effective ideas. Try to bake some cookies for your friends, offer a ride, accompany your mom to a doctor’s appointment, give a couple of dollars to someone in need, or leave a Post-it with encouraging words to someone.

Do something that will make someone else feel good. According to some research, the simple act of wishing well to someone is enough to decrease your anxiety levels.

Kindness is a powerful tool

Being kind to yourself is an excellent way to feel good. Yet, the impact of being kind to others can have on you and your mental well-being is much bigger. It clearly helps fight depression and anxiety. It makes you feel more connected to others.

Struggling with anxiety before a speech is probably the most common reaction, so try to be kind to someone and discover its positive effect on you.

Cátia is a psychologist who is passionate about helping children develop and train social skills.


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