The Dalai Lama stated, “kindness is my religion”. Isn’t that so ridiculously beautiful?!
Can you imagine what a wonderful world it would be if we all adopted kindness as our faith?
So, what does kindness mean to you? Do you practice kindness regularly?
Don’t get down on yourself if you think you aren’t kind enough. Beating yourself up wouldn’t be being kind to YOURSELF!
Consistently practicing kindness can be tough. Most days we’re so focused on completing our list of 100 tasks and as a result, we’re low on patience.
When we feel stressed it can be tough to get out of our own heads and focus on being kind. We might not even feel like being kind when we’re feeling emotionally and physically depleted.
The good news is that you can rewire your brain to be kinder so that being kind to yourself and others will become second nature! Keep reading to find out how!
How to increase kindness
1. Use LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATIONS
This is one of the best ways to train your brain to be kind. It involves cultivating love and kindness for yourself and others. You can find a TON of them free on YouTube.
2. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
When we feel grateful, we feel happy. When we feel happy, we are kinder! It’s as simple as that.
3. START BEING CONSCIOUSLY KINDER
Pause to think about what a kind response would be. Rather than acting out of anger or going with a knee jerk reaction STOP!
Take a breath and consider what act of kindness could be used at the moment. It can as simple as biting your tongue during a disagreement or stopping negative self-talk.
4. PUT YOURSELF IN ANOTHER’S SHOES
By imagining what it would be like to experience another’s circumstances we become more empathetic. When we feel empathy for another it significantly increases the likelihood of kind behavior.
Reasons why kindness is important
1. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Studies show that it’s not only a mental boost that we get from being kind but that it can also improve our physical health and make us live longer.
2. SOMEONE MIGHT NEED IT
You never know what someone is going through. Your act of kindness might be exactly what they need to lift them up and help them get through a bad day.
3. PEOPLE WILL WANT TO BE AROUND YOU
Who doesn’t love being around someone who is kind?! By being kind, you will easily attract people to you.
4. KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS
Kindness has a ripple effect. When you are kind to others, they, in turn, are inspired to be kind. It makes the world a better place! Never underestimate what ONE act of kindness can do!
5. WHAT YOU GIVE YOU GET
If you are kind you are MUCH more likely to receive kindness from others. It’s the law of attraction at work!
6. IT GIVES YOU AN EMOTIONAL BOOST
Being kind releases endorphins in the same way physical activity does. It makes you feel happy, energetic, and at peace.
7. INCREASES SELF-LOVE
When you are kind to others it makes you feel good about yourself. By being kind to others you are much more likely to treat yourself with kindness.
101 ways to be kinder to yourself and others
- Say hello to a stranger
- Pay for the person behind you at a drive-through or toll booth
- Believe in yourself
- Hold the door open for someone
- Say “I love you” to yourself
- Smile at someone you pass walking down the street
- Give someone a compliment
- Make someone feel included
- Write a kind letter, email, or card for someone
- Write a kind letter to yourself
- Help someone at work who’s overwhelmed by tasks
- Let someone in your lane in busy traffic
- Release any feelings of guilt
- Buy yourself flowers
- Believe in your dreams
- Give someone a hug
- Make cookies for your coworkers
- Give someone your full attention when they’re talking to you
- Leave a sticky note with an inspiring message somewhere random in public
- Name 3 things you like about yourself
- Be compassionate
- Call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile
- Quit complaining for a day (or even better – a week!)
- Buy a small gift for a friend or family member for no reason
- Bring your office breakfast (croissants, bagels)
- Forgive someone
- Be kind to yourself by practicing self-care
- Spend quality one on one time with your child
- Practice gratitude by genuinely thanking someone
- Think before you speak
- Say please
- Talk to someone who seems shy or lonely at a social gathering
- Let someone go in front of you in the line at the store
- Take yourself on a date
- Be open-minded
- Take the time to return an item you find to the lost and found
- Babysit a friend’s children for free
- Pick up litter
- Let perfectionism go
- Each night acknowledge what you accomplished that day
- Hold the elevator for someone (even if you’re in a rush!)
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- By a friend lunch
- Put a stray shopping cart in a parking lot away
- Splurge on something you want for yourself
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or rake their leaves
- Lend someone your favorite book
- Tip a server or delivery driver extra well
- Ride your bike to work or walk (take care of the environment!)
- Accept a compliment from someone
- Comment on someone’s blog post
- Buy someone coffee
- Be a good friend to yourself
- Don’t settle
- Let someone have a parking space
- Call your parents
- Accept yourself
- Move on from your mistakes
- Challenge your negative self-talk
- Be flexible
- Make a list of your strengths
- Be happy for someone else’s success and tell them!
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Cook someone dinner
- Set personal boundaries
- Be respectful (even if you disagree or don’t like the person!)
- Put your judgments to the side
- Fix the paper jam in the printer at work
- Forgive yourself
- Stand up for someone
- Put your phone away when spending time with someone
- Buy a homeless person a meal
- Give up your seat on public transit
- Remember people’s birthdays
- Tell someone you love them
- Don’t gossip
- Say excuse me rather than push past someone
- Ask for what you need
- Remember someone’s name
- Encourage someone
- Say “no” to things you don’t want to do
- Talk to the cashier checking you out
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
- Keep your word to yourself
- Invite a lonely friend over for the holidays
- Practice patience (with yourself and others)
- Give someone coupons you don’t need
- Give a positive review to a business you had a good experience with
- Donate your old clothes
- Appreciate your quirks
- Tip a street musician
- Invest in yourself
- Watch someone’s animal while they’re on vacation
- Tell yourself “I am enough”
- Leave change you find on the street for someone else
- Put change in someone’s expired parking meter
- Honor your needs
- Practice self-compassion
- Donate blood
- Respect yourself
Until next time!
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