Kindness Pillar Ambassador, Cooper Chapman, is a pioneer of mental wellness and all things kind. We caught up with the founder of the Good Human Factory, asking some important questions about how he practices kindness in his own life and how we can be kinder to our minds.
When asked what being kind and spreading kindness meant to him, Cooper reflected on the science of it all.
“The science literally shows that the kinder you are, the happier you are,” he said.
He broke down kindness into three pillars – being kind to your mind, to others and to the environment – showing how simple it is to start making a positive change for ourselves and others.
“Being kind to your mind means taking care of your own mental health,” Cooper said.
“Whether you meditate, practise mindfulness or show gratitude, these are all different things we can do that have a positive effect on our minds.
“Being kind to others is doing kind acts for other people, like going out of your way to help your friends or just smiling at people when you walk past.
“Being kind to your environment might be as simple as picking up rubbish – it’s really just trying to be environmentally conscious whenever we can.”
Cooper also reflected on creating the Good Human Factory, a mental health organisation that provides young people with the tools to continually grow and improve their quality of life by becoming aware and taking care of their mental health.
“One in five Australians are diagnosed with a mental illness each year, but five in five have mental health,” Cooper said.
“For me, it’s all about spreading awareness and encouraging people to develop the skills to enhance their wellbeing and live a really good life.”
As a professional athlete, Cooper is no stranger to the pressures of performing in the public eye. His message to other athletes to help them get in a good headspace centres around awareness and humility.
“My biggest piece of advice for getting in a good headspace is being willing to learn and grow – dropping that ego and being willing to take on constructive criticism,” he said.
“If somebody has given you some sort of criticism, take it all on board.
“If it’s not good advice, get rid of it, but always be willing to listen to people because if they’re trying to give you some advice, there’s generally something that you can work on – always be ready to take on new challenges!”
Ever the human embodiment of kindness, Cooper shared his top five tips for being kind to your mind: practising mindfulness, being grateful, getting a good night’s sleep, reading and catching up with friends.
“We should all be prioritising our connections with friends, trying to make sure that we have a little bit of a deeper conversation,” he said.
“In person is always a big bonus, especially now that lockdowns seem to be coming to an end in Australia.
“I also love being able to just be still and sit with my thoughts, often writing down three things I’m grateful for.”
This October, it’s important to be aware of mental health, not just for ourselves but those around us as well. Be Kind to Your Mind this month and show kindness to others by jumping on board the Fund My Challenge app and supporting some incredible charities.