Your mindset plays a major role in how happy and successful you are in life. If you can create a kinder mind, you will face fewer mental struggles and make everyone else’s world a little nicer too. Here are 15 powerful ways to create a kinder mental environment, so that you can grow as a person, serve the world, and feel a greater well-being.
1. Let go of perfectionism.
Expecting yourself, or anyone else, to be perfect is not only impossible, but is also very unkind. Cut yourself and the rest of the world some slack. A kinder mind lives by the principle of making steady progress rather than being perfect.
2. Talk kindly to yourself.
Many people criticize themselves way too much. Beating yourself up is a really ineffective way of changing things you don’t like. Have a kinder mind by talking to yourself as you would to a close friend. Being gentle with your speech will also shape the way you view and interact with everyone around you.
3. Acknowledge your humanity.
We would all have kinder minds if we stopped struggling with other humans and recognized what is common among us all—our humanity. Whatever conflicts there are between us, we’re all coming from the same place of being a human. We’re all just trying to make our way in the world the best way we know how. Create and enjoy a kinder mind by regularly reminding yourself that no matter what else is different, our humanity makes everyone in the world the same.
4. Help others.
A large part of being kind is being willing to help others who are struggling, but you can also create a kinder mind by offering to assist when you are struggling yourself. Giving someone else a hand actually makes us forget some of our own troubles and feel more grateful for our good fortune.
5. Be kind to your body.
You cannot have a kinder mind if you treat your body abysmally. The mind and body are intimately connected, so to have a kinder mind, you need to be kind to your body. Give yourself a good balance of water, rest and nutritious food to support your mental well-being.
6. Make other people’s lives easier.
You don’t have to make grand gestures to have a big impact on the well-being of others. You can do little things to make the lives of people around you easier. Whether it’s doing chores without being asked, filling the car up when you’ve used it, or putting the bins in an easy place for your local council to collect, these simple things can make someone else’s day go a little smoother. Someone with a kinder mind is considerate of others in many small but important ways.
7. Stop judging people.
One of the best ways to create a kinder mind is to stop making judgments about other people, including yourself. If you want to create a kinder mind more quickly, wear an elastic band around your wrist and snap it whenever you notice yourself making a judgement. Replace the judgmental thought immediately with a kinder one.
One of the simplest things you can do to create a kinder mind is to just listen to others. Take the time to truly hear what other people’s hopes, dreams, concerns, and experiences are. Listening carefully can give you new perspectives and help you to become kinder and fairer.
9. Thank your teachers.
Someone who wants to cultivate and spread kindness will make the effort to thank those who have taught and mentored them, and those who have contributed positively to their lives. A kinder mind is created by thanking the teachers who you may have seen as bad or negative. Recognize that they may have taught you even more, and these may well have been harder lessons. Be sure to thank them too.
10. Give and accept compliments.
Giving a compliment to someone just to brighten their day is a really easy way of being kind. A kinder mind will accept any compliments returned with graciousness. Sometimes our insecurities make us want to refuse or reject a compliment. In this case, keep it simple, and just smile and say “thank you” if someone compliments you.
11. Have fun.
Sometimes when we’re trying to develop ourselves, it is easy to make things unnecessarily earnest and dour. Growth is not about being serious or miserable, so have lots of fun as you strive to create a kinder mind. Do things that make you smile, laugh and feel joyful.
12. Focus on the good.
In all situations, we have a choice about what we focus on. The negatives and positives are both there—it is always down to what we choose to see. Instead of criticizing people or things, focus on what you like about them, or what you can learn from them.
13. Cherish differences.
It is truly kind to accept and appreciate differences in people—and their tastes, opinions and desires. Create a kinder mind by valuing each and every person and their contribution to the world, and seeing that they are just as valid as anyone else’s.
Before you react negatively to anyone else’s perceived flaws or foibles, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Imagine how it might feel to live with their unique issues, problems and insecurities. Someone with a kinder mind will have compassion for people who act unwisely, rather than condemning them.
15. Validate yourself.
Remember to cheer yourself on in life if you want to create a kinder mind. Before you go to bed every night, validate yourself for the things you did well, the problems you solved skilfully, and the lessons you have learned. A kinder mind is brought about by encouragement and care. Acknowledge how hard you have tried, and give compassion to yourself when things are tough.
Featured photo credit: Young woman wearing glasses laughing in the fall via shutterstock.com