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Simple Acts Of Kindness Can Improve Our Well-Being, Research Says

Simple Acts Of Kindness Can Improve Our Well-Being, Research Says

Life becomes hectic and gets in the way sometimes.  We are too busy and have too much on our plate. Life unexpectedly throws a curve ball here and there.  However, did you know that a simple act of kindness can bring you peace and joy into your life?

Research shows that random acts of kindness not only boosts your physical health but also helps you to maintain positive outlook on life.

What’s more, it doesn’t have to be grand or expensive. By nature, we are hard-wired for love and compassion. We genuinely feel good when we give, help or contribute without expectation of reciprocation of acknowledgement. It can create a powerful ripple effect that people continue to pay forward what they have received. Thus, kindness is a win-win which brightens our community as a whole.

So, why not start today? Make kindness a daily habit. Make a difference in your life and someone else’s. Besides, kindness is contagious. What goes around comes around. It is particularly true with kindness. Show your kindness in any given moment, at any place and with anyone. They will remember your generosity and they will turn around and spread kindness to others as well. It will also be an excellent opportunity to teach your children to do the same and grow up to be kind adults.

While there are plenty of simple things we can do without breaking a sweat, and yet are easy to forget to practice, start with these 15 simple acts of kindness you can do today, tomorrow and everyday. They will certainly make your day and someone else’s.

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1. Put on a smile

One of most attractive trait in a person is a nice friendly smile. Saying hello with a smile makes you approachable and a good impression.  Smiles can open the door for you to make more friendly friends and expand your social circles.

2. Show your love

We value relationships more than material things in life. According to Maya Angelou, people will never forget how we made them feel. So make them feel loved, especially the ones who are dear to you.  Check out The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman if you want to learn more on how to express love.

3. Forgive

Forgiveness is not an easy task. It takes courage and sometimes a lot of time and practice. However, forgiving with empathy is part of being kind to someone, especially the one who wronged you and hurt you in some way. Also, be kind to yourself and forgive your mistakes. Self-love is to treat you with such kindness that you don’t allow anger, resentment or negativities in your life.

4. Open the door or hold an elevator

We live in a world where everything needs to be rushed through. Holding doors for others seems to be simply cultural practices in our society.  However, we do it not because it’s customarily expected but because it’s our intention to help others to minimize the collective effort that needs to be spent on daily tasks, which ultimately makes everyone’s life a bit easier.

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5. Bring a cup of joe for a colleague

A simple gesture like bringing a cup of coffee for someone in the morning will make their day.  A little consideration like this will foster their productivity at work while promoting the relationship which in turn will make your workplace friendly and kinder place.

6. Give up your seat at the waiting room, on the train or bus

The next time you are traveling by bus or in a public place, offer your seat to an elderly person. This is a great way to show your respect for the elderly. Perhaps there is a pregnant woman or a child struggling to stay standing on a moving vehicle. Offer your seat to someone who needs it every time you have the opportunity.

7. Give a hand to someone who needs help with something heavy

When you see a woman struggling to walk up stairs with kids and heavy bags, help her. Even the smallest act of service is rewarding and joyful. You wouldn’t want your wife or sister struggling without anyone’s help, would you?

8. Let someone merge during traffic

We all get frustrated in traffic at one time or another. One additional car in front of you isn’t going to make you arrive any earlier or later than you already would have been. So the next time someone is waiting to merge, be the kind person and let him in.

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9. Offer a babysitting to a friend

Parenting is the most rewarding job and at the same time overwhelming. Offer to babysit for a friend or neighbor, especially a single parent who doesn’t get much help. This simple support will give a parent a break to recharge and relax a bit which will also benefit the child.

10. Bake cookies for your new neighbour

Well, it doesn’t have to be baked-cookies. You can offer a cold glass of water to a neighbor who’s trimming a tree in a hot summer day. Paying a visit with a bright smile or inviting them over for a tea would make them feel safe and welcomed.

11. Bring a cup of chicken soup to a sick person

We remember how we’ve felt when someone took care of us when we were sick. Show them you care and offer help when needed. This will lift his spirit up.  In addition, it will make both his stomach and his heart warm and fuzzy.

12. Don’t interrupt when someone is talking

Pay attention to what the other person is saying. Active listening is not only an act of kindness but also a skill that we can benefit from improving. You will have more chance to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.

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13. Fix Something for someone else

If someone needs to have something fixed or put together, and you are handy with these sorts of things, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer your skills. Surprisingly, you may enjoy some fun doing it together. The bonus is the more you put your skill into practice the better you will get at it.

14. Give compliments

As words have the power to both heal and destroy, a nice compliment can reinforce their value in the world. With genuine compliments, you let them know they are noticed. So, speak kindly and give them a little gift of appreciation.

15. Say yes to a donation request

Making a donation doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars or hard work at Habitat for humanity. It can be a $1 donation to a local shelter or a can of soup for your local food bank. It won’t break your wallet. Imagine there’s someone out there smiling when they receive what you gave.

So, what’s in your kindness jar today?

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Kris Lee

Emotional health and communication writer

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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