This One Thing Could Make a Big Difference
I have been thinking a lot about kindness recently and I have come to the conclusion that being kind to ourselves and others is a very helpful attitude we could adopt, whatever changes are taking place in our lives.
Being on the receiving end of a kind gesture can brighten our day. I was recently walking to a bus stop and was half way between two stops when I saw a bus approaching. I put out my hand, hoping the driver might stop but knowing he was perfectly entitled to drive on.
But he did! He stopped! His kindness really touched me. I know it’s a small thing but being appreciative for small acts of kindness is in itself a kindness towards oneself.
And this brings me to a very fundamental point.
Self-kindness is crucial for good mental and emotional health and it also contributes to physical well-being. Not only that, but when we have kindness in our hearts towards ourselves we naturally extend it to others. It’s a real win-win situation!
So, here are a few tips to allow more kindness in:-
- Stop regularly during the day for 5 to 10 seconds. Take a few slow deep breaths. On the exhale allow worries, cares and responsibilities to fall away, as you let your shoulders to sink towards the floor. Then perhaps whisper quietly to yourself, “I am perfect exactly as I am. All is well.”
- Exercise – it’s one of the best ways to be kind to your mind and body. Find a type of exercise that you really enjoy. Yoga and a brisk walk in nature is my daily tonic!
- Stop complaining! Eckhart Tolle tells us that when we stop complaining we drop 80% of the heaviness in our minds.
- Accept a compliment. When we allow ourselves to truly appreciate a compliment, it not only acknowledges ourselves but also the one who gave it.
- Give hugs. When you give one, you get one back!
- Be alert to self-criticism. More than anything this has the power to drag you down. Get in the habit of questioning these thoughts by asking yourself, “Am I absolutely 100% SURE this is true?”
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You can’t fit into someone else’s shoes, but you’ve got your own, and they fit you perfectly!
- Wish others well. Celebrate the success and good fortune of others. Nothing eats aways at your own peace more than holding resentments and grudges.
- Be honest. When you are willing to acknowledge to yourself, without judgement, all your thoughts and feelings, especially the ones you wouldn’t want another soul to know about, then the truth will set you free.
- Have a good laugh, it restores our sense of perspective.
- And finally, “when in doubt, do the kindest thing”. This little motto has helped me in many tricky situations.
I love this quote from the Dalai Lama.
“My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.”