Making Kindness An Everyday Habit in 4 Steps Kindness breeds more kindness and these simple steps will create a more humane environment in no time. BY GABRIELLA VAN RIJ
Being kind to others reaps rewards you can't imagine.
“ We are born with innate kindness, but weíve just forgotten about it because weíre always running.”
When Lady Gaga recently told her fans that kindnessónot wealth and fameóis what creates harmony in the world she may have been on to something. Research has shown that being kind makes us happier and also is contagious, inspiring others to be kind as well. For example, one such study published in the Journal of Social Psychology linked performing acts of kindness to an increase in life satisfaction.
Thatís why as people make their resolutions for the coming New Year, they should make up their minds to commit purposeful acts of kindness every day.
Making kindness a habit changes livesóyour own life and others. We are born with innate kindness, but weíve just forgotten about it because weíre always running. Weíre just too busy doing other things and we need to remind ourselves to be kind.
It seems we as a society have dropped the ball on human kindness and itís time we picked it back up. Itís no wonder that, by the time we are 5, we have learned to compete and to strive for success. Itís time for a new measuring stick for success.
The following is a four-step process people can use to put a little more kindness in the world and quickly fall into the habit of committing the act each and every day.
1. Be kind to yourself. Itís hard to have the patience to be kind to others if we canít even take the time to be kind to ourselves. This might seem selfish, but itís not. By being kind to ourselves, we shape our attitude toward others.
2. Answer rudeness with kindness. This one is difficult. When someone is rude to you, the first thing you do is instantly react and not always in a positive way. And the second thing you do is say itís about me. They were nasty to me. But itís not about you, itís about the emotion. By answering rudeness with kindness, you diffuse the situation and thereís also a certain satisfaction in seeing the change in the attitude of the person who was rude.
3. Watch your delivery. The tone that accompanies your words is as important as what you are saying. Do you need to soften your tone? Does what you say sound more aggressive than what you mean? Body language also can send a message you didnít intend, so be aware of your body language and your facial expressions.
4. Acknowledge kindness when you see it. When you acknowledge the kind acts you see, that person will be encouraged to continue to spread kindness. Acknowledging kindness in others also will serve as a reminder to you about how you can show kindness.
Unfortunately, one of the reasons we donít always treat each other well is that we are a fear-based society, and fear only breeds more fear. But luckily there is an antidote because just as fear breeds more fear, I believe kindness grows more kindness.