Mindfulness | Meditation | Mindfulness meditation | Self compassion | Resilience | Stress | Anxiety | kindness
By focusing on kindness and our feelings around it we can help get the most benefit from the practice and attract even more into our life.
Think kind thoughts. If you find yourself thinking negatively about others try to let go of these thoughts and accept that any unkind behaviour they show you may not be personal to you. Holding on to anger and being unforgiving stops you experiencing the feel good benefits of kindness, so it’s an act of compassion for yourself and the other person.
Practise the loving kindness meditation.
This has been shown to increase empathy and compassion.
Put yourself in others shoes
Sometimes people are unknowingly unkind. They may be lost in their own thinking mind, thinking all kind of negative thoughts about themselves and that makes it hard to be kind to others. If we can show kindness and compassion to them, we can enhance our own practice and help them see the kindness around them. Hopefully the positive feelings they feel will help them open up to kindness and pass it on to others. This is a way of paying it forward.
Consciously become aware of carrying out acts of kindness on a daily basis, and notice how it feels. For the next week write these down in your journal.
Some activities you can do include:
Reaching out to friends, family, neighbours for a chat and to listen with full attention to how they are. Giving someone time and your full attention is a precious commodity you are sharing.
Write a letter or card to someone. It’s a lovely treat to receive an unexpected card or letter.
Give someone a hug
Donate to a charity
Volunteer to help with a good cause
Pay someone a compliment
Pets count too – spend time playing with or stroking your pet.
Share something with others…give them your last rolo, or pass on old books or magazines.
Give yourself time to be kind. The times when we don’t show kindness and compassion are often when we are too busy to notice, so try to be mindful of making time to be able to connect to others. The benefits to you and others show it’s an important investment of time and energy, that can even extend your physical health, literally giving you more time in the long run.
Watch others being kind. Even watching inspiration videos containing storylines majoring on kindness , compassion and acts of love can help produce the kindness hormone. Maybe watching cute social media videos isn’t the waste of time I tell my children it is!
An extra benefit…
When we are focused on being kind to others it can take the spotlight of our own problems while we train the brain to be more positive and enjoy the helpers high. Kindness has been proven to be an antidote to depression. David Hamilton describes it as medicine for us, that we give away rather than take ourselves.
Turning kindness back on yourself
By being kind to others we can more easily turn this kindness onto ourselves. Notice the language you use when connecting with others and try to hold the same sentiment for yourself. Notice how others respond in a positive way, it’s not necessary to give tough love to others, so why would we feel we need to treat ourselves this way.