Anxiety, depression, trauma… it’s not always from some big dramatic event. Sometimes people experience it from memories of conversations that they’ve misperceived.

And, unknowingly, these feelings well up and the memories are gone, but the feeling is still there.

When you’re feeling stressed, you’re body is on alert. You’re vigilant.

You slowly become more and more critical – of yourself and others. Things aren’t as beautiful as they once were.

Stress chemicals can kill the neurons in the brain when they’re in over abundance.

You begin to lose the connections within yourself and eventually it becomes difficult to connect with others.

I recognize it in people. I’ve been there.

When I see people who are critical and judgmental, I see stress. Angry and seemingly without empathy… this is because underneath it all there is a kind of trauma happening.

These are the people who think they’re being cheated. I remember talking to a woman recently who was critical of a guy who was building a website for a non-profit. She thought he should do that work for free.

Another woman hasn’t liked her haircut in years. No matter where she goes, no one does it right.

As soon as a trigger for danger sets you off, you see the world differently. You cut yourself off from yourself and then become very critical of yourself.

This leads to pain. Pain in the mind. Pain in the body. Generalized anxiety. Generalized pain.

There are many modalities that try and address stress management. Try them all until you find what works.

But the one thing that I’ve seen that works the best…?

Kindness.

When you see people being kind to others, it warms your heart. Your body floods with oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone released after childbirth, during sex, with human touch… and when you see kindness.

You can begin noticing the kindness that people show one another. And start being kind.

It doesn’t need to be big magnanimous gifts.

Hold the door for someone. Smile at a stranger.

Let someone pass in front of you.

Wish someone well.

Someone in one of my groups reported that she was having really great results managing anxiety and her own feelings of anger by practicing the loving-kindness meditation.

She was amazed at how well it worked for her.

May you feel safe, may you feel peaceful, may you feel loved.

May you reconnect with your spirit.

God bless you.

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