kindness (2)

Let's say you have a strong grasp on just what an impact being kind can have on your life and how easy it is to perform small acts of kindness to help others. It’s not always apparent what a difference such positive deeds can mean to them. You may never see the person again. They may be so involved in their problem they did not say Thank You.7909255100?profile=RESIZE_400x

This happened to me this week. I needed to give my complete attention to what I was doing. I wrote a check and the lady came back and said that she made a mistake and I still owed $.75. I did not think I had it.  A lady behind me said she would give it to me. Without turning around I said, “I have it.” I need to stay focused on the paperwork as I was not familiar with it. I completed my task with no mistakes. Walked out and got to my truck and said to myself “you never thanked that lady for offering to help. I walked back in and told the lady I was sorry for not saying thank you and how much I appreciated her offer. As I write this it has become apparent to me that I brightened her day by the effort I made to come back and thank her. Here are some of the ways a little kindness can make a difference in someone’s life. 

Provide Hope

Taking a little of your time to do something for someone can often provide a great deal of hope during a difficult time. We all are carrying some pain the paradox is that we lighten our own load by lightening the person you meets load. That person may be at the breaking pointready to call it quits they asked God for a sign. God impressed the thought on you to do something for them. It is not so much what you do as that you did it. When someone makes the effort to show compassion, it can give someone who is struggling the hope to believe things will get better. Never underestimate how important that can be.

Instill Belonging

We all feel alone sometimes. During these stretches, it’s an amazing feeling when someone reaches out to show us that we’re not completely on our own. By providing kindness to someone, you might actually be giving them a connection to the outside world that really matters. Even the smallest effort on their behalf is a move in their direction. That move can mean the world, especially if someone doesn’t have a lot of close connections in their life or they are feeling particularly lonely for some reason.7909263058?profile=RESIZE_400x

Acts of kindness also are simple reminders that we care about others. Again, there are more lonely people in the world than you may realize. Perhaps you’re dealing with some isolation yourself. In addition, modern society can seem extremely fast-paced, with people focusing only on their own bottom line and happiness. Taking the time to be considerate toward people shows them that someone cares about their well-being and that they matter in this world. We all want to feel cared for.

Bring Happiness

Being kind spreads happiness and light in a world that can be too full of darkness. It usually leads a person to smile, if only for a moment. That feel-good gesture can produce an effect that lasts into the future, though. Any bit of happiness you can bring to someone is a good thing. We should all strive to make someone happier whenever possible.

We truly can never know what another person is experiencing. A small act of kindness can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life in so many ways. These are just a few examples to consider as you move forward in your own practice of kindness.

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Being kinder is not about making sacrifices or denying your own needs. Treating people kindly is not an imposition or another task on your checklist.

It’s the outward manifestation of living positively. Kindness is all about mindset, and you can train your brain to make kindness almost automatic. Ever notice that being kind to someone makes you feel good too? It’s because altruism promotes a chemical reaction in your brain, releasing serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These chemicals make you feel good but also work to reinforce positive social behavior. By laying down new neural pathways, you set yourself up for living a positive, kinder life.

Here are some scientifically proven tips for engineering kindness into your brain.

  1. Choose to be kind

In choosing to be kind, you are consciously resetting your mindset to treat people with compassion and empathy. Notice the effect of your kindness on others. When you smile, people’s natural reaction is to smile back. You set up a kindness loop that keeps on paying itself forward!

When you choose to be kind, regardless of how you are feeling, it will turn even a miserable day into a brighter one. Acts of kindness sends the message to your brain that all is well, and before you know it you’ll be feeling more cheerful.

  1. Do more random acts of kindness

Studies have shown that carrying out five random acts of kindness every week is the single most effective way of increasing your happiness. Anything from buying a complete stranger a cup of coffee, to letting another driver into the traffic, or mowing your neighbor’s lawn will make you and the other guy feel good.

  1. Be kind to yourself.

Self-kindness starts with noticing your self-talk. Are you encouraging or judging? Do you start from a position of ‘yes you can’ or ‘you’ll never do it’? Pay attention to that voice in your head, and change the script to kindness.

Build little acts of self-care into your day. Reward successes, big and small. Take time to do the things that make you feel good. Make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated and have a nutritious diet.

  1. Practice gratitude

Make it a daily practice to count your blessings. Research has shown you will be happier when you notice the good things in your life and practice gratitude. The outcome is so marked that it changes your brain structure! Brain scans have shown the effect of mindfulness and gratitude.  The part of the brain that reacts to stress shrinks, while the regions associated with self-awareness and compassion grow.

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