The benefits of kindness are well-known. Research has shown a clear link between kindness and physical, emotional, and mental health. Being kind makes people happy, slows down the aging process, is good for the heart, combats depression, and improves personal relationships. However, as Dr. Venus Nicolino points out, there is an aspect of kindness that many people overlook. That aspect is kindness to oneself.
Nicolino, commonly known as Dr. V., has decades of experience helping individuals improve themselves and their interpersonal relationships. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. She is also a best-selling author of a self-help book titled "Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullsh*t." However, life wasn't always easy or successful for her. She grew up in a small home with a mother who never went to college. Her father worked on cars for a living. Her life experience led her to emphasize the importance of self-help, as she explained to those facing problems that other people aren't always able or willing to provide support and assistance. She has never minced her words, and her unconventional attitude and solutions have earned her both praise and criticism. Even so, she is also known for her kindness, compassion, and empathy. She truly cares about the people she works with, enabling her to help people of all ages and walks of life.
Dr. Venus Nicolino ‘s Practical Tips on Caring for Oneself
Dr. Venus Nicolino explains there are three things a person should do to care for themself properly. The first is to set personal goals and take action to reach them, even if such actions come with a risk of failure. As she points out, those who allow fear of failure to stop them from setting and reaching goals are making a big mistake. They are not only robbing themselves of the possibility of success but also the chance to learn how to try new things and get feedback that can boost one's performance and abilities. Furthermore, as Dr. Venus Nicolino rightly notes, in many circles, failure is considered a normal part of the improvement process. Entrepreneurs, for instance, know that there is always something one can learn from their mistakes. What's more, they also know that it's best to identify a failed venture or idea early on rather than waiting until a lot of time, effort, and finances have been invested in the venture.
Dr. Nicolino goes on to explain that it's important for individuals to embrace their humanity. There are certainly serious situations and circumstances that require action or a change of course; at the same time, each person is a combination of good and bad traits, attributes, and characteristics. It's important to learn how to tolerate oneself and understand that imperfections and flaws do not have to stand in the way of living a happy, fulfilling life.
Finally, Dr. Venus Nicolino explains that caring for oneself gives a person the courage to start again as the need arises. Those who care for themselves will be able to love again after a painful end to a relationship. Individuals who find themselves on the wrong academic track can reinvent themselves and choose new courses to align with their capabilities and long-term goals because they know they don't need to allow a single mistake to define the rest of their lives. A business failure does not mean the person who started the business is a failure but rather than mistakes were made, unforeseen circumstances arose, and it's time to end the old in order to start something new. Indeed, a business failure can prove to be an invaluable learning experience and increase the odds of long-term professional success. Billionaire Sir Richard Branson, for instance, has fifteen business venture failures to his credit. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos created or invested in scores of failed products and services, losing millions of dollars in a process that he described as "having a root canal without anesthesia." Even so, he's at peace with himself because he understands that a failure is an event, not a person.
The Difference SoundMind Can Make
Dr. Venus Nicolino doesn't just dispense advice. She also looks for practical ways to provide help people facing challenges in their personal or professional life. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for SoundMind, an app that enables users to create their own custom soundscapes to deal with issues such as stress and anxiety. The app also has an array of powerful tools to help people better understand their moods and feelings. It has a journal feature to allow users to provide information about themselves. The app then uses this information alongside other forms of data to predict how a person will feel at any given point in time. It's proactive in recommending sounds and sights that a person can compile into playlists that can be accessed as the need arises. Dr. Venus Nicolino clearly takes pride in her role in creating SoundMind and its many features and services. "I’m happy to be a part of a project that improves people’s access to mental health tools. “Being kind to oneself means taking care of oneself, and this app helps people with that.”
Recent statistics indicate that people are far harder on themselves than they were in times past. At the same time, humanity is facing new challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns took a toll on many people's physical health, emotional well-being, and/or ability to earn a living. The current state of the environment can cause a great deal of stress as it becomes increasingly clear that humanity will have to face the results of its actions and lack of action in taking care of planet earth. Stories of conflicts, atrocities, and crises around the globe can leave a person feeling that everything is going downhill and there are no easy solutions. Dr. Venus Nicolino is a voice of reason in these troublesome times, urging people to show themselves some care by ditching unrealistic expectations, goals, and views of themselves in favor of treating themselves with kindness and compassion. As she rightly points out, "There is a difference between holding oneself accountable and putting undue pressure on oneself, and perfectionism has a sneaky way of turning into the latter." Accepting and embracing one's imperfections while allowing oneself time, space, and opportunity to learn and grow can spell the difference between a happy, fulfilled, successful life and an apathetic one fraught with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Published by Samantha Brown