Kindness is key to a peaceful existence between everyone on the planet, and the key to being kind, lies within yourself. Getting in touch with our own feelings, can help Improve understanding of how to treat others. Being kind can be as simple as a small gesture to make someone’s day a little easier, or stepping out of your comfort zone to help someone get through a large ordeal. Every little bit of effort from every person makes a huge difference collectively. Showing kindness to others can be easy and, this article will help with tips for daily practice.
Showing kindness to others starts with showing kindness to ourselves. Once there is a full understanding of how another person may be feeling, kindness flows. If we are having a bad day, it can be hard to connect with others on that level. However, we can rise above and extend a hand to a fellow person with these tips:
It’s literally impossible to be kind to others if you don’t take care of your own needs first. If you are emotionally “run down” and tired, you have nothing to give. You may come off as sad, cranky, or exhausted. True kindness comes from a healthy spirit that is genuine, and that only comes from self-love. Understanding yourself will lead you to understand what others are going through. Loving yourself will help you love others. Healing yourself will help you heal others.
Solution: Take time each day for “self-care.” Read a book. Spend time in nature. Meditate. Connect with yourself, and your environment. Being kind to yourself feels good and you will want to share that with others.
If you are having a rough day, try expressing some kindness outside yourself, to lift your own spirits. For example; if you are having a bad day, your first instinct may be to “lash out” at others. Try turning that around.
Solution: When you find yourself in this situation, breathe. If you feel like lashing out, try calming down and extending a wave or a smile to others around you. The result may surprise you. Chances are you will feel better when they wave and smile back at you.
One good trait that will help you know how to be kind is empathy. Knowing how others may be feeling will help you know what you can do to help them. If you notice someone is in some type of situation, try to relate to how you might have felt in the same situation in the past, or how that situation might affect you if you were experiencing it right now.
Solution: If someone is going through something, you may be inclined to say, “you will be fine, don’t worry so much.” Instead, try saying “I understand how this may be hard on you. Let’s look for a solution together.” In this way, you are connecting with them, instead of being dismissive.
Sometimes we don’t have a lot to give others. A small gesture of kindness does go a long way. Have you ever had a rough day and felt relief at someone just holding a door open for you? You don’t have to give someone the world, you just need to show that you care. These can be things like; a get-well card to someone who is sick, weeding the garden for an elderly neighbor, or running to the store for a new mom who can’t get out. Little things can make a world of difference in someone’s day!
Solution: Think back to the little things that made your day when you needed it. Have a “treasure trove” of small things you can do for others. Keep some assorted cards and stamps to send out for certain occasions (birthdays, sympathy, get-well, etc). Set aside some time each week that you can reach out and help someone, and decide how much time or resources you can afford to give.
Sometimes being kind is as easy as learning to be a good listener. Turning an ear to a friend or person in need is often worth its weight in gold. You don’t or shouldn’t give advice unless asked, but listen carefully and show that you heard what they are saying. We often daydream or talk about ourselves in conversations. This can be offstandish and unkind. Listen carefully, and you will help someone work through their own feelings.
Solution: If someone chooses to confide in you, it’s about them. Listening is an important trait of those who know how to be kind to others, and an important skill for good communication! Of course, when they are finished speaking they may need you to share your own experiences to make their own feel validated. However, let them speak first and just listen until they have finished.
If you have the resources, go the extra mile. Sometimes people need big acts of kindness. These things come with big, heartfelt rewards for both parties involved. A situation may come to your knowledge that could use a helping hand. A question may cross your mind, “what can I do to help?” It really just depends on what you have to give.
Solution: Big acts of kindness don’t really have to be a dilemma. How to be kind by going the extra mile for someone else just means doing a little more than you normally would. If someone is sick, you may want to make them a dinner, instead of just sending a card. This could be as easy as preparing a little extra for your family, and sharing with theirs. Or, instead of just weeding your elderly neighbor's garden, maybe you could weed it and plant some nice flowers for them. All you have to do is consider your own resources and ask yourself, “how much do I have to offer to make a bigger impact?”