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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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