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15 Powerful Ways to Create a Kinder Mind

15 Powerful Ways to Create a Kinder Mind

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.

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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.

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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.

8. Listen.

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.

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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.

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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.

14. Empathize.

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

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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