One of the most powerful things we can do to change our health is to change our thinking. Research continues to show the benefits of meditation, gratitude, mindfulness, and having a positive perspective (if you would like to know more about that research, email me and I will send you links). I’ve written previously on these benefits but want to add another layer to the mix: kindness. I like to think of this as the “kindness connection.” When we take the time to focus on awareness of self, being thankful for what we have and who we are, and turning our thoughts from the negative to the positive, we are being kind.
When you start to become kinder to yourself, it resonates outward. You become kinder to others and they, in turn, become kinder as well. Kindness is infectious and makes us feel good. It creates a cycle of patience, empathy, and compassion. We can all agree that our world could use consistent kindness. Try one or more of the following every day for a week and let me know the results!
- Write an email or text to someone giving them thanks or praise. Be authentic and write from your heart. It doesn’t need to be long; it just needs to be real. Write to a different person each day. It only needs to take a couple of minutes but the benefits to you both will be numerous.
- Perform an act of kindness. You can do this spontaneously or plan for it. Buy a cup of coffee or tea for the person behind you. Buy an extra sandwich for the person you see on the street every day. Stop and visit someone who can’t get out and about. Send a gift card to someone who would not expect it. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time and see how they are…and truly listen. The possibilities are endless.
- Meditate. This doesn’t have to be “traditional” or complicated. This can mean allowing yourself to watch the clouds pass by, daydream like you did when you were a kid, or take a walk through the park or woods. It can mean closing your eyes while at your desk and focusing how your breath expands your lungs and how it feels to slowly exhale. It can mean however you wish to be present and conscious, reflecting and pondering with love and peace in your heart.
Remember to tame the critic – of yourself and others. Meet people where they are, not where you expect them to be. This goes for you, as well. Meet yourself where you are right now and know that it’s okay. Give yourself a mental hug and make a list of 10 positive things that you love about yourself. You’ll be surprised how awesome you really are.
Happy February 14th Weekend!
P.S. For some warm fuzzies, watch Ellen receive the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Humanitarian. She’s given and raised millions for many wonderful causes. Enjoy!