Treat others how you wish to be treated – be kind!
Kindness is defined as a ‘quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate without expecting praise or something in return.’
So, with that in mind, think about the acts of kindness you can do to improve someone else’s day. Showing others kindness can boost their confidence, happiness and optimism. Being kind is often described as being contagious. If someone does something kind for you, it may encourage you to repeat the good deed you’ve experienced. Their kindness has been contagious as it has infected you with kindness. It’s like you are paying the kindness forward.
Kindness is one of the essential things in life. It shows other people that you care about them and can take away some of the pain and suffering they may be feeling. It can also help heal others and improve mental health. A few minutes a day can make a real difference to a person or a family. Being kind and showing someone that you care about them can turn their day around and put a smile on their face. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to dampen or brighten someone’s day. So, everyone should always consider how their actions will affect others before taking them.
So, here are some random acts of kindness you can do
- Send a message to someone telling them how much they mean to you. You could say you are thinking of them or miss them. You can thank them for something they did for you, something you like about them or how proud you are of them.
- Give your postman a thank you note or Christmas card to show your appreciation for their hard work.
- When you go shopping, you could buy a few extra items at your grocery store and drop them by your local homeless shelter or food bank.
- Keep any loose change you have in a jar and every few months, decide what you are going to use the money for. For example, you could donate it to charity or buy those resources for a homeless shelter or food bank.
- Send people Christmas cards to show them you are thinking of them and thank you notes to those who gave you Christmas gifts.
- Share someone’s small business on social media or in-person to show your support.
- Volunteer and give your time to a charity or local event.
- Treat a stranger by paying for their cup of coffee/tea. Or, if you are at work, you could offer to make your colleague(s) a cuppa for them.
- Buy someone a surprise gift out of the blue.
- When you see a couple or group of people taking photos, offer to take a photo for them, so they can all be in the shot together.
- Do some baking and bring some treats to school or work.
- Reach out to people and check in on them. Call someone up that you haven’t spoken to for a while.
- Offer to pick up some groceries for an elderly neighbour or shovel their driveway if it is snowing.
- Put a surprise note or drawing on someone’s desk (positive, of course) to make them smile.
- Hold the door for someone or help someone with a pushchair up or down the stairs.
- Smile and say hello to people that you pass on the street.
Another important aspect of kindness is self-kindness. Make sure you are treating yourself with kindness, not just others. Think about how you feel when something doesn’t go to plan. Maybe you made a mistake or failed to achieve something – do you beat yourself up about it? Self-kindness is key to giving yourself some needed compassion. Why is it that when you make a mistake, you punish yourself much more than someone else for doing the same thing? If a friend was in the same situation as you, would you speak to them the same way you are speaking to yourself? It is so easy to be much tougher on oneself, which is why self-kindness is so important.
Here are a few ways you can practice self-kindness:
- Practice forgiveness – Everyone makes mistakes, so you must learn to forgive yourself. Learn from the mistakes and move on from them.
- Self-care – Make sure you look after your body and mind. It’s okay to indulge but make sure you have a balanced diet and drink enough water.
- Express gratitude – Before you sleep, write down what you are grateful for each day.
- Practising mindfulness – Meditation is a great way to relax your mind and destress.
- Self-encouragement – Pretend your friend is going through your situation and direct what you would say to them to yourself instead.
Kindness is free. It can have a significant impact on someone else’s life as well as your own. It can improve everyone’s emotional well-being. Think about the times you have been kind to others and gone out of your way to help them. It made you feel good, didn’t it? I bet you smiled and felt more positive about your day too.
You don’t know what someone else is going through so remember to think about your actions before you take them and choose to be kind.
To find out more on this topic…
Listen to our ‘K is for Kindness’ podcast episode
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