This is Tip #2 of a 5-part series on how to lead a happier and more fulfilling life:
- Tip 1: Treat Your Body With Respect
- Tip 2: [You Are Here] – Random Acts of Kindness
- Tip 3: Take Baby Steps to Improve Yourself
- Tip 4: Choose to be Happy – Happiness is a Choice
- Tip 5: Live Life to the Fullest
In the previous tip, we talked about how to be kind to ourselves and our bodies. What about extending this kindness to the people all around us? Have you ever bought a present for someone, knowing the joy that washes over their face when opening it will be worth the money spent, a million times over? I know I can certainly get far more excited about giving a good present than the receiver actually gets opening it! Taking pleasure from somebody elses happiness, and knowing that you are the reason is a wonderful feeling. For a fleeting minute, you are the sole reason for that persons life being enhanced in some way. And it feels even better because you have no intent of receiving anything from them in return.
But, acts of kindness are by no means limited to present buying – in fact, you can easily incorporate acts of kindness into your day that wont cost you a penny, just your time and thought.
What Goes Around, Comes Around
You have the ability to touch the hearts of those around you, the people you see each day on the streets, and your community. You can start the “ball rolling” by being brave enough to do the first good deed, therefore encouraging others to do the same. Something as small as a “thank you”, or “have a nice day” to your local shop assistant can have an ongoing, positive effect. They may then give better service to the next person in line, in turn, improving their day.
Whether you believe in Karma, or not, the more you start doing random acts of kindness, the more you start noticing and appreciating when people do them for you. When you are waiting in traffic at a junction watching the clock ticking minutes away from your precious day, and somebody lets you out, the feelings of stress trickle away, your mood lightens dramatically, and you feel totally grateful for that individual at that moment. Just from this simple act.
It’s these small gestures that can make a huge difference to someones day. Start noticing and feeling joyous when people do small gestures of kindness towards you, and pass it on in some way to a person you see throughout the day.
Often, the decision to deliver a random act of kindness is spontaneous, a spur of the moment response to the environment and people surrounding you. It is you, acting impulsively and freely upon how you feel at that precise moment in time. Have the strength to act on your impulses and perform these little gestures that will make all the difference in somebody elses day. Sponteneity can be a rarity in life; embrace the feeling of choosing your exact path at that moment.
Pride and Purpose
When you start doing these acts of kindness, feel proud of what you are doing. Be aware of the fact that you are brightening someones day, and take pride in knowing that their happiness is a result of you. If you start to feel negativity creep into in your day, be kind to someone and focus on the happiness you have bought to them. Feel proud that you are going out of your way for another person, and that this person appreciates you.
Each individual has difficulties in their lives, however knowing that someone is looking out for you, even if that person may not be someone you know, can soften the hardship. Take this true random act of kindness story, for example. A gentleman was dining alone, and on the adjacent table, a mother and daughter sat crying together. Upon asking for his bill, the gentleman passed a note to the waitress, requesting that the mothers bill was also given to him, but that she should not tell them. Someone in their family had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. This gentleman did not require a thank you, or financial reimbursement. He simply wished to ease their suffering a fraction, and took pleasure in knowing he was able to help in a small way.
Why Wouldn’t We?
We all know that doing nice things for somebody else can contribute to them having a great day, so why wouldn’t we do them? Sometimes, the negative feelings we have about ourselves can impact our capability. You may feel embarrassed or insecure about approaching people, even if it is to give them a gift. Focus your mind on the happiness you could bring to this person, and think about the positive effect you will be having on their day. Challenge yourself to overcome your fears in favour of inspiring another person to feel appreciated, and “pay the good deed forward”. Stepping out of your comfort zone for a small period of time could bring positivity to the lives of others, and in turn, to yourself.
You may feel as though you are unworthy, or you have nothing to give that would bring a smile to another. Your kindness in no way needs to be financial. It can be a gift of your time to a lonely neighbour, or perhaps volunteer at a local centre. You have qualities within yourself that will enhance another persons day, even if you cannot yet see them.
A World Full Of Care
Your random acts will make you feel proud of who you are and heighten your feelings of being appreciated and valued. This in itself will improve your every day happiness. Take pleasure from the knowledge that you have improved another persons day. Be grateful to yourself, and know that others are grateful to you for having the courage and the strength to start contributing to a kinder community.
Try These 5 Simple Ways To Be Kinder This Week:
1. Let someone out of a junction
Even if your busy. You never know, they may need the precious minutes more than you.
2. Spend an hour with your neighbour
Sometimes we live surrounded by people we don’t even know. Take an hour out of your day and pop over to see your neighbour, especially if they are elderly. They may be lonely, and your time may be the most special time of their week.
3. Surprise your friend with a sandwich on their lunch break
We all have that friend that forgets lunch every day and ends up spending a fortune at the local sandwich shop, or even goes without. Why not pop a sandwich over to them? Their lunch break then becomes more relaxing and their day more productive. All because of you, your time and your kind thoughts.
4. Use your manners
Make a conscious effort to thank everyone who does a small gesture for you. Tell customer service workers you meet to “have a good day”. I have worked in several customer service roles – rest assured that manners make a real difference, and it will be you who will be responsible for changing someones day for the better.
Take notice when people use their manners towards you, understand the difference it can make, and pass it forward.
Smile more! Smiling tricks our brain into feeling the same feelings as we feel when we are happy. It others will make others believe you are genuine, and have honest intentions. Smiles are infectious – making someone smile may be just what they needed! And that is thanks to you.
Take time and make a conscious effort to be kinder to people. You will feel appreciated, and feel like you are making a difference. Never under estimate the small things you do for people, it can have a massive, on going effect.