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30 Ways To Be Kind and Be Happier

30 Ways To Be Kind and Be Happier

If you are kind, can it really make you happier?  Research projects have shown this is indeed the case. In one interesting study conducted by the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia, participants were asked to recall spending a small sum of money either on themselves or to help someone in need. Those who donated that sum to charity or as a gift  remembered being much happier than when they had spent the money on themselves.

Researchers also found that once people got into the loop of being kind which was followed by a feeling of happiness, then they were more likely to do lots of other acts. It is a win-win situation. Psychologists call this the ‘helper’s high’. The exact biological process which links positive emotions to physical and mental well being is not fully understood yet. But the results are there for all to see!  So, if you want to feel happier, try some of these 30 ways of being kind. The more variety, the better.

1. Telephone a lonely person.

There is always one person in your group of acquaintances who is lonely and isolated. Try calling him or her, every now and again.

2. Hold the door open.

No matter who it is, hold the door open.

3. Change the toner or paper in the photocopier.

The next time you see a colleague swearing because the toner or paper runs out, step up to the plate. Do it with a pleasant smile and you have new fan.

4. Buy someone a coffee.

When you go to the coffee machine and see a colleague there, offer to buy her a coffee. If you are going to the water cooler, try offering to get someone else a cup of water while you’re on your way.

5. Help a disabled person.

Offer to push a wheelchair, help them across the street or fetch their medicines.

6. Any small change?

When you see all those coins which are a real nuisance, pop them into the next beggar’s baseball cap.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGOut1X5u0E

7. Offer to do the shopping.

Maybe there is an elderly person in your condo or someone who has had an accident. Offer to do the shopping.

8. Offer your place in the supermarket queue.

When you see someone getting anxious in the queue, let them go first.

9. Driving with kindness.

Lots of opportunities here. Waving a pedestrian across the street or stopping to let a car park.

10. Pay a few compliments.

Let your partner know how great they look today. Compliment a colleague or a friend on their new outfit.

11. Smile more often.

Try walking down a corridor at work and smile all the way there. You might be surprised at how many smiles you get back. It is infectious!

12. Express your gratitude.

Saying “thank you” and “please” are like the oil that lubricates the engine of human interaction. Works every time!

13. Reach out to a person in need.

Do you know someone who is ill or in hospital? Reach out by choosing one of these:

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  • Send them a text message
  • Phone them
  • Send flowers
  • Send a card

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato

14. Talk to a shy person.

Have you ever noticed how shy people struggle at social gatherings? Try a little act of kindness just by talking to them. You could be surprised at what you discover.

15. Donate to a disaster fund.

The next time you see a catastrophe on TV, note the charity donation number and send the SMS.

16. Teach your kids kindness.

If you are a parent or work with young people in a youth organization or at a school, raise awareness about the needy. Encourage them to give away their old toys and books which are still in good condition.

17. Be a modern Johnny Appleseed.

Be inspired and plant a few trees/plants/bushes/flowers in the neglected areas of your neighborhood. Watch the video below.

18. Stop complaining for a week.

This is probably the kindest act of all! Spreading negativity drags people down. Concentrate on the positives for a week. You will be pleasantly surprised.

19. Grow your hair.

Did you know that there are charities that make wigs from real hair for children who have suffered from hair loss during cancer treatment? If you have hair, let it grow and donate it to one of these charities.

20. Help a needy driver.

If a driver is in trouble, pull over and offer your assistance by phoning for help or helping to change a tire.

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21. Show affection.

Show people you love that you really mean it. A hug, a kiss, a gentle pat on the back or any sign of affection will be appreciated. If you want to give free hugs in the street, watch the video below. This has been watched by 75 million people!

22. Leave some money on the street.

Just a random act of kindness. Try leaving a banknote or a few coins on the street where a poor person can find them.

23. Invite someone to dinner.

Choose a co-worker or neighbour who you feel is rather lonely and offer them your hospitality.

24. Listen to someone who has a problem.

Being a good listener is a great sign that you can display empathy and warmth. Just listen and try not to interrupt with advice. There will be other opportunities for that.

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”- George Sand

25. Help a co-worker

When you see a colleague in real difficulty because of a scary deadline, a tyrannical boss or because they are suffering bereavement, lend a helping hand.

26. Contact your local shelter or soup kitchen

Ask them what they need most for supporting the needy and homeless. It could be anything from running an errand, shopping or baking a cake for them.

27. Give up a parking space.

Soar above the desire to be the first to get that parking space.

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28. Give away your favorite book.

You have read that book loads of times.Time to give it away. Leave it on the bus or train, with a note inside saying why you think it is a gem.

29. Send a depressed friend a funny video.

Laughter is a great tonic for depression. Choose your favorite funny video form YouTube and send the link by email.

30. Give flowers or food to an elderly neighbor.

Look at all the roses you have in the garden. Remember the leftover lasagne in the fridge?  Pack them up and give them to an elderly neighbour.

 

Try to do one or two of these acts of kindness every week. Change it up each time. Look at what you get for a few acts of kindness. Your mental and physical health will improve. You are less likely to suffer from heart disease, blood pressure, stress, and depression. It’s a bargain- go for it!

“Life’s most persistent and nagging question is ‘What are you doing for others?'”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Featured photo credit: KIndness-Mark Twain/ BK via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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