World Kindness Day: The Power of Kindness

November 12, 2021

By Channel Kindness

Join brave young advocates, our co-founder Lady Gaga, and mental health expert Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble for an important conversation about kindness, mental health, and the strong connection between the two. With courage and vulnerability, these youth share about their mental health journeys and finding a path to radical self-acceptance, chipping away at mental health stigma, one story at a time. This special is divided into four chapters: Kindness to self, kindness to others, kindness to community, and building a kinder future. Keep reading below for a guide for how you can channel kindness today using the lessons learned from this video!

Content warning: This video mentions depression, self-harm, suicide, and suicidal ideation, which may be triggering to survivors or to the loved ones of victims. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek support. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 for assistance.. Find resources for mental health support at bornthisway.foundation/get-help-now/.

Tune in below or watch along at: https://www.facebook.com/ladygaga/videos/3393924860732409/.

Chapter notes: Your guide to the power of kindness

Learn more about the link between kindness and mental wellness in our Kindness Is Action (2021) report.

Chapter 1: Be Kind To Yourself

Showing kindness begins with caring for yourself and your mental health. Here are a few resources mentioned in chapter 1 as well as a few others to support you as you show kindness to yourself.

  • Visit PleaseStay.us for resources to support your mental wellness, evidence-based self-care tips, and suggestions for anchors which are the things that keep us here from day-to-day and moment-to-moment.
  • Find additional mental health resources and expert-vetted self-care tips on our  Get Help Now page.
  • Check out these suggestions from our Advisory Board for ways you can maintain positive mental wellness.
  • Try these suggestions for ways to practice self-compassion.
  • Try these stress management techniques.
  • Here is a guide with suggestions for practicing radical self-love, helping to build the belief and understanding that you are enough exactly the way you are.
  • Here is a guide to learn more about radical acceptance. With origins in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, radical acceptance can be defined as the ability to accept situations that are outside of your control without judging them. That practice is believed to help reduce the suffering that is caused by these situations.
  • Here is a guide to learn more about behavior and skills. In the practice of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, you are taught four sets of behavioral skills: mindfulness; distress tolerance; interpersonal effectiveness; and emotion regulation.
  • Find inspiring stories of kindness on ChannelKindness.org.

Chapter 2: Be Kind To Others

Being kind to others is beneficial for their wellness and yours. Here are a few ways you can channel kindness today.

  • Learn more about validation, which “is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable.”
  • Visit BeThere.org to learn how to recognize if someone is struggling with their mental health, lean into the tough conversation, and connect them with support — all while maintaining your own mental wellness.
  • It can sometimes feel difficult or awkward to start the conversation about mental health. Read this article from our executive director Maya Smith about when she asked someone to please stay.
  • Share mental health resources like PleaseStay.us with a loved one.
  • When Lady Gaga mentions “tapping,” she is referring to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to meridian points to restore balance to your body’s energy. Proponents say tapping can help to reduce stress or negative emotion.
  • Lady Gaga mentions practicing gratitude, which can help improve mental wellness. Here are gratitude exercises you can try.
  • When Lady Gaga mentions breathing techniques, she is referring to the grounding practice of breathing exercises. Here are 10 breathing exercises you can try.
  • Kindness is action. Find ways you can channel kindness today by visiting our Channel Kindness Now page.

Chapter 3: Be Kind To Your Community

Kind communities matter. In our Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness (2017) report, we found young people who describe their environments as kind are more likely to be mentally healthy. That’s true for youth in high schools, colleges, and the workplace.

  • Join us in fostering healthy conversations about mental health across communities through our BTWF Talks/. Click here to check them out.
  • Learn more about our annual #BeKind21 initiative, which is an invitation to participants to practice an act of kindness each day from September 1st to September 21st with the mission of building kinder, more connected communities that foster mental wellness.
  • Click here to learn more about Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles and how you can support their mission.
  • Here is a list of community organizations Born This Way Foundation team members chose to support for #BeKind21.
  • Here is a list of community organizations participants in the documentary chose to support:
    • New Alternatives NYC increases the self-sufficiency of LGBTQ+ homeless youth by enabling them to transition out of the shelter system to stable adult lives. They provide long-term support, weekly case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self-expression, and programs for youth who are diagnosed with HIV.
    • Transgender Wellness Program (aka Trans Connections / APLA Health) is an HIV-prevention program for trans people of color, ages 18-29, offering incentivized testing, linkage to care for those who are newly or previously diagnosed with HIV, fun events, and more.
    • Para Los Niños responds to the needs of underserved children and families in Los Angeles. Today, Para Los Niños supports over 6,000 children, youth, and families through its integrated model of education in nine schools, and comprehensive social emotional services in classrooms and communities.
    • Women Against Abuse is Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence advocate and service provider and among the largest domestic violence agencies in the country. Their mission is to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.
    • St. John’s Well Child and Family Center Transgender Health Program aims to eliminate health disparities and foster community well-being by providing and promoting the highest quality care in South Los Angeles. Their Transgender Health Program provides comprehensive transgender health services in a safe and welcoming environment and includes primary and preventive care, hormone replacement therapy, referrals for gender confirming surgeries, and more.
    • To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Chapter 4: Building A Kinder Future

In our Kindness Is Action (2021) report, 93% of young people shared kindness is the way we can move forward through tough times.

  • Learn more about Aakoma Project, an organization founded by Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble dedicated to building a world where every child, teen, and young adult (inclusive of all points of diversity) feels the freedom to live unapologetically and authentically within an environment that allows them to rise and thrive.
  • Here is a guide from Trevor Project for ways to be an ally to Transgender and Nonbinary youth.
  • Here are suggestions from The Mighty on ways you can be an ally for people with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Here is a definition for intergenerational trauma from the American Psychological Association. Click here to learn more about the legacy of trauma and how it can be passed down through generations.
  • Share your story and the kinder, braver world you hope to build by visiting our Channel Kindness Submission Guidelines.
  • Send this documentary to a loved one and help start the conversation about mental health and kindness today.