It’s easier than you think
So how can we make the world a kinder place? The answer is definitely easier than you think. There’s a comfort in knowing that people are there for you and willing to help. Little acts of kindness mean we have a caring community and everyone has a better day. Kindness is reciprocal. One kind act tends to lead to another, which has a cumulative effect on wellbeing and happiness.
Kindness is not something we often think about, or really value as a society. Sometimes altruism is seen as weakness, when, in fact, there’s a strength and resilience in kindness. Nor is it about smug, self-satisfied do-gooders. Kind people reach out and touch the lives of others. In an increasingly harsh world, filled with criticism, pressures to conform to an unachievable standard, and online trolling, we all need to try to be a little kinder to ourselves and those around us. Kindness is its own reward.
How can we make the world a better place?
Here are some ideas for little acts of kindness that may lift the spirits of those on the receiving end and boost your own wellbeing.
Be kind at work
- Volunteer an hour of your time to help a colleague who is running behind once a month.
- Bring in cake, coffee, or some healthy snacks once a month, or go out for a meal or drinks with your colleagues.
- Send an e-mail letting a colleague or a supplier know what a great job they’re doing.
- Make an effort to learn something new about a co-worker.
- Assume the best in others. If someone is running late or has cancelled an appointment, don’t assume they’re trying to get out of something or annoy you.
- If you can know a great therapist, tradesperson, designer, accountant etc recommend them to others and provide referrals.
Be kind to those around you
- Compliment someone on their shoes, hair, smile, anything really.
- Let someone out into traffic, or stop so a pedestrian can cross the road ahead of you.
- Hold the door open for someone or make the lift wait for them.
- If you have things you no longer want, offer them for free on a local recycling group, or donate them to a charity shop so someone else can benefit from them.
- If someone gives you good service, write to the company praising them.
- If you’ve always wanted to learn something, look for a local skill-sharing organisation.
- If you’re popping to the shops, check if an elderly neighbour needs anything.
- Give up your seat on the bus, underground, or train to someone who looks like they need it more.
- Do nice things and don’t tell anyone about it.
- Help a lost tourist or give someone directions.
- If your parking ticket is still valid, leave it on the machine for someone else to use.
Be kind to your friends
- Write and send a handwritten thank-you note when you receive a gift or someone does something you appreciate.
- Don’t just text. Pick up the phone and arrange to meet up for a chat over lunch or a coffee.
- Send a copy of an old photo and reminisce about old times.
- Try to find some good in a friend’s partner you dislike.
- Bake a birthday cake.
- Comment positively on social media.
- If a friend is organising an event, make a point of going to support them.
Be kind to your family
- If you have the space and time, adopt a rescue animal from a charity. It’s great for wellbeing, fabulous for kids too. If you live in the city, cats who’ve previously had cat flu can be a good option as they need to stay indoors. Rescue centers have everything from snakes and lizards to rabbits, guinea pigs, hens, and horses.
- Pause before speaking angrily to someone and consider what you’re really angry about. Try to reframe your comments in a positive way.
- Tell your parents that you love them and appreciate all they have done for you.
- Take a tip from Frozen and just Let it Go.
- Create a family happy book. Gather all your good memories and thoughts into one place.
- Catch up with nieces or nephews over Skype or FaceTime.
- Have people over for lunch or dinner once a month.
Be kind to your significant other
- Tell them you love them and why you think they are so special.
- Pick up their chores every now and again if you know they are stressed.
- Be a good listener, rather than an advisor.
- Don’t nag, but work together to find another way to get something done.
- Give them a big hug at least once a day.
- Tell them you missed them.
- Have a regular date night.
- Made a special day for them, filled with their favourite food, activities, and tickets to a concert or the cinema. (COVID permitting).
- Snuggle on the couch while watching TV.
- Respect them and don’t make decisions that should have their input without consulting them.
Be kind to yourself
- Make time for yourself each day. Self-care is important.
- Treat yourself to a day off and spend it doing things you love, but never have time to do. Visit a gallery, have a long lie, watch an old movie, read a book, be creative, a walk-in nature…
- Forgive yourself for past mistakes and make amends to those you have hurt.
- Be an optimist.
- Get a plant for your office or buy yourself some flowers.
Now think of the ripple effect these little actions would have on the community? Join me and start that ripple today…