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15 Ways You Can Adopt To Make Kindness Your Habit.

15 Ways You Can Adopt To Make Kindness Your Habit.

Kindness is not just a habit for priests and other do-gooders. It’s a habit for all of us. Medical science has proved that being kind alters our body chemistry and brings all sorts of benefits, including improving our mood, lowering our blood pressure and increasing our positive thinking.

Acts of kindness boost production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant in the brain, for the giver, the receiver and those who witness the kind acts. Kindness is such a beautiful thing. Reports actually show being kind not only improves your happiness, but also extends your life span.

To be a better, happier person, you need to be kind every day, all the time. That includes being kind to both those you like and those you dislike or disagree with. If you are unkind to others, it tends to cause more harm to you than to the person you are performing unkind acts to.

The problem with being unkind

Thing is, being unkind fosters negative thoughts. It increases fatigue and raises your blood pressure. You lose sleep and become distracted from important and enjoyable activities, which ultimately impairs the quality of your personal and professional life. Moreover, being unkind makes you feel bad and has an adverse impact on your health. It is simply wasted energy.

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So, be kind. Make the commitment to act kindly, speak kindly and live kindly. You’ll be happier for it, as will those around you. One way or another, acts of kindness always come back to you. Besides, there are so many delightful ways to show kindness and make it a part of your daily life.

Here are some ways to make kindness your habit:

1. Smile a lot.

Smiles are contagious. They lift the spirits of people around you. Extra points if you can smile and have a cordial conversation with a homeless person.

2. Say “Good morning.”

A simple good morning accompanied with a pleasant smile creates an instant connection. Even if you don’t know someone, saying “Good morning” is a common courtesy. It shows you recognize their presence and acknowledge they are a person too, important enough for you to say hello to.

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3. Spend quality time with loved ones.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and fail to realize you are not spending as much time as you’d like with family and friends. Take time every week – no matter how busy you are – to spend with your loved ones, and tell your family members how much you appreciate them every day.

4. Sacrifice, even in a small way.

Share your lunch with a homeless person, buy groceries for someone in line with you at the supermarket or just help an elderly neighbor carry the rubbish out. These small acts of kindness make someone else’s day.

5. Be generous with compliments.

Compliment and say genuinely nice things to people. Even a small comment in passing can uplift someone, and make you feel better about yourself.

6. Mentor a child or teen.

Someone observed encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least. This is especially true when it comes to an at risk child. Don’t let children go neglected and or dominated. Became a mentor and encourage them to achieve their best.

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7. Give the benefit of the doubt

Lawyers insist people are innocent until proven guilty. Make this the default rule in your life. Don’t be quick to judge and condemn others. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t you also want others to give you the benefit of the doubt and not judge you too quickly?

8. Forgive others.

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect or blameless. So, extend grace to those who have wronged you. You will need the same grace extended to you in the future.

9. Pat someone on the back.

A pat on the back can be a way to say “hello” to a friend, a way to congratulate someone for an achievement or a way to comfort someone who’s had a bad experience. It’s a beautiful gesture that lets others know you care. People thrive on such physical contact. Consider giving free hugs, too.

10. Be patient and polite on the road.

When a driver needs to make a turn, change lanes or merge into your lane, let them through with a wave and a smile. And if another driver makes you angry, let it go instead of retaliating. Letting go can make a big difference.

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11. Thank your employees.

Nothing shows good leadership, great communication skills and depth of character quite like a boss who is not afraid or shy of saying thank you to his employees. Bring your assistant coffee. It shows deep appreciation and can go a long way in strengthening your work relationship.

12. Bring your coworkers a special treat.

Similarly, show appreciation to your coworkers. Bring those donuts, cookies or a homemade treat. Small surprises and tokens of appreciation spread good cheer in the workplace and build comradeship.

13. Let someone go in front of you.

Many times we encounter a situation where we are required to wait in line. Whether it is at the bank, in the supermarket or at the airport, waiting in line can be frustrating, tedious and irritating. Ease that tension by letting someone go in front of you. It helps make someone’s day a little better.

14. Offer the handyman a drink or snack.

We’ve all had to call a handyman to help us out with things like a leaky faucet that needs fixing, a furnace that needs replacing or a lawn that needs mowing. Offer them a drink or snack. Don’t forget the delivery person. Give a fruit and let them know you appreciate the work they are doing for you.

15. Embrace your own mistakes.

Love and be kind to yourself too. Accept that you are human and will make mistakes sometimes. Instead of being hard on yourself for making a mistake, ask yourself what you can learn from it. Make amends where applicable and move forward. It won’t help anyone to dwell on mistakes and feel guilty about them. As John Powell rightly said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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