Everyday Kindness: Shortcuts to a happier and more confident life

A guide to building kindness into your life - kindness to yourself and others
Found in: Book Reviews / Self-help
Author: Stephanie Dowrick
Book Year: 2012
Publisher: TarcherPerigee, US
ISBN: 9780399160899
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Everyday Kindness: Shortcuts to a happier and more confident life

Everyday Kindness lives up to the promise of its title. The central theme focuses on the importance of building kindness into every aspect of your life both towards yourself and others and provides gentle tips for achieving this goal. It covers themes that you can resonate with – from building personal power and self-confidence, to relationships and identity.

This book is written in short, digestible paragraphs. The writing style is conversational and anecdotal, making it very approachable reading. Everyday Kindness tackles many of the anxieties, fears, stresses and pressures that are common in life but that we often think we’re alone in experiencing.

Reading Stephanie Dowrick is like listening to all of your mother’s best life advice. With clear themes for each chapter, it is the kind of book that you can dip in and out of to get valuable advice as you need it. I imagine it could be a useful long-lasting resource as you would relate to different parts of the book at different times in your life.

Something to be aware of, however, is that the brevity means there is a lack of depth. Dowrick occasionally falls into the trap of providing easy sounding solutions for what are actually very complex psychological and deep-rooted emotional issues that require a lot of hard work to change. This can leave the reader wanting some more practical next steps for how to tackle these issues with long-lasting impacts. This can also have the unfortunate side effect of making her sound a little preachy at times.

But, don’t let these criticisms put you off reading Everyday Kindness. Overall it is a haven of positive, practical life advice and a wonderful place to start for those wanting to build more kindness, generosity and positive wellbeing into their lives.

Reviewed by Hannah Mackintosh, Wellington Timebank Co-ordinator

Everyday Kindness: Shortcuts to a happier and more confident life

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing topics.