“Persistent friendliness can go a long way. When the sun melts the ice, friendliness makes misunderstandings, distrust and hostility disappear. “
“A single act of kindness throws roots in all directions, and the roots sprout and form new trees.”
A very easy way to spread more happiness in your own little world is with kindness. It is often a simple and quick thing that you can do during your daily life.
But sometimes we forget. Or don’t remember how it can help us all.
Three things I like to keep that help me be a kinder person are these:
- I get what I give. Yes, some people will be ungrateful, miserable, and won’t reciprocate no matter what you do. But most people will, over time, treat you the way you treat them.
- By being kinder to others, I am more likely to be kinder to myself. It may sound a bit strange, but my experience is that when I am kinder to others, my self-esteem increases.
- It creates a happier place to live. Being kinder makes my own little world just a nicer and happier place to live.
So how can you start to spread the kindness and happiness in your daily life?
Here are 15 easy ways to do it.
Pick one that appeals to you and start using it today.
1. Express your gratitude.
Think about what you can be grateful for to someone in your life.
Maybe that he’s a good listener, that he often helps out quickly, or that he always adds great songs to a Spotify playlist. Or just that he held the door for you.
Then express this gratitude in a simple “thank you”! or in a sincere sentence or two.
2. Replace the judgments.
Nobody likes to be judged. And the more you judge other people, the more you tend to judge yourself.
So, despite the temporary benefit of getting pleasure from judgments, this is not a good or wise long-term habit.
When you feel the urge to judge, ask yourself: What can I think or do instead in this situation?
3. Replace the unconstructive criticism.
Try encouragement rather than excessive criticism. It helps people build their confidence and do a better job.
And it’ll make things fun and carefree in the long run.
4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
It’s pretty easy to resort to rudeness if you only see things from your perspective.
Two questions that will help me to see and understand other points of view are:
- How would I think and feel if I were in his or her place?
- What parts of this person can I see in myself?
5. Remember how the kindness of people made you feel.
Just sit down for a few minutes and try to remember one or more times when other people’s kindness really touched and helped you.
Then think about how you can do the exact same things for someone in your life.
6. Show kindness to something you often take for granted.
It’s easy to remember and be motivated to express kindness when someone is having a hard time or has just completed an important project.
But also remember to show kindness and encouragement that someone will keep putting so much love into the dinner that you eat. Or for being punctual every day, doing their job well and meeting deadlines.
7. Hide a surprising and friendly note.
Leave a small note with a loving or encouraging phrase in the lunch box, hat, tea caddy or the book your partner or child is reading.
This minute of your time will bring a smile to her face and joy and motivation to her heart.
8. Just be there.
Listen – without thinking about anything else – when someone has to vent.
Just be there with your full attention.
Or, have a conversation and help someone find their way out of fear and into a more constructive and grounded perspective.
9. Think about the small gestures of kindness too.
Let someone on your trail while you are driving. Have someone in a row in front of you skip if they’re in a real hurry.
When you see them standing around with a map and a confused look, hold the door for someone or ask if they need help.
10. Give someone an uplifting gift.
Someone in your life may be having a hard time. Then send him or her an inspiring book or film.
Or just send an email with a link to something inspirational or fun that you found, like a blog, podcast, or comic.
11. Practically help someone out.
Help them move, have dinner, or make arrangements before a party.
If they need information, help out by Googling them or asking knowledgeable people you know.
12. Help the people in your life see how they change their lives.
When you talk to someone about their day or what has happened lately, point out that he or she also spread kindness and happiness.
People are often unaware of the positive things they are doing or they minimize them in their own thoughts.
So help them to see themselves more positively and to strengthen their own self-esteem.
13. Remember the 3 reasons to be kind at the beginning of this article.
It will help you be kinder even if you don’t always feel like it.
If you want, write these reasons on a piece of paper and put this note where you can see it every day.
14. Pay it on.
When someone does something good for you – no matter how big or small – try to pay for it by being kind to someone else as soon as possible.
15. Be kinder to yourself.
Then you will of course treat other people more kindly. It really is a win-win habit.
An easy way to be kinder to yourself is to journal 3 things that you value about yourself and what you did that day in a journal each night.