“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
Today I'd just like to quickly share something that has helped me to feel a whole lot better about myself. And it does not only benefit me.
It is a very simple habit.
It is the habit of being kind to the people in your life.
How can you use it?
Here is a list of simple suggestions and ideas:
- Give someone a genuine compliment. Find something you can genuinely appreciate about a person in your life and express it in a sincere way.
- Hold up the door for the next person. Such a simple thing can add a bit of extra positivity to your and other person’s day.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It is quite easy to resort to unkindness when you see things just from your perspective. So ask yourself: How would I think and feel it if I were in his or her shoes?
- Hide a surprising and kind note. Leave a small note with a loving or encouraging sentence in your partner’s or child’s lunchbox, hat or book that he or she is reading at the moment.
- Let someone into your lane while driving. It is easy and people appreciate it. Especially during the morning or evening commute.
- Give someone an uplifting gift. Give someone a flower. Send an inspirational book or movie. Or simply share a link to something inspiring that you have found like a blog or an article.
- Encourage a friend or family member when they are uncertain or unmotivated. There is so much discouragement in the world so be an exception that lifts his or her spirits again.
- Just listen and let someone in your life vent for a little while. Don’t think about your own ideas or problems, just be fully there for a while with you attention directed to 100% at the other person. Let him or her process and sort things out as you listen.
- Be proactive and get something started. Send out a Facebook invite for an evening of fun down at the pub or the coffee shop. Plan and organize a small party or a picnic for your friends (if the weather allows for it). Don’t wait for someone else to suggest something fun or exciting in your daily life, do it yourself.
- Take a few minutes help someone out in a practical way. Ask someone you know for advice that your friend could use. Use Google to find directions, a product that would be useful or a tip that could help out. Take over and do the rest of the laundry or the dishes if someone is too tired.
When you have done one of these things, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and appreciate what you did. If he or she smiles and lights up thanks to you then you'll probably notice how you feel better too.
And here's an interesting added benefit: the way you treat other people is the way you tend to treat yourself.
More kindness towards the people in your life leads to a kinder and more loving and self-esteem boosting attitude towards yourself. Just like a more judgmental attitude towards others usually is accompanied with pretty harsh and judgmental thoughts towards yourself.
So pick one or more ideas from this list, take action on it and spread the kindness in small or bigger doses today (and beyond).
You'll make both the people in your world and yourself feel better.
Note: The comments section for this article is closed because I am traveling this week and won’t have time to moderate the comments.