How far can a little kindness go?

How often do you show random acts of kindness? Do you give strangers a warm smile as you pass? How about really acknowledging other people’s achievements? Do you notice when someone needs a little encouragement or needs a hug or gentle touch that says a thousand words?

Showing kindness to others might be easy. Or perhaps not! Do you sometimes find yourself giving others a hard time? And then feel bad about it and so, end up giving yourself a hard time in return?

Kindness and love don’t have to be given in big gestures. Merely acknowledging someone can have a deep impact on their day.

When I go into a shop and buy something, I always acknowledge the person working there and genuinely asking them: ‘How are you?’

This is sometimes met with surprise and I wonder how many times that person has asked strangers that same question and been met by indifference or been ignored.

In a world where we are connected to everyone and everything, we often ignore the people who are directly around us. This leaves us feeling disconnected and invisible.

And what about you? How kind are you to yourself? Do you often recognise your successes in a day or do you focus on everything you didn’t do perfectly?

What is the conversation you are having with yourself? Is it mostly kind? I’m guessing not, and this is something we all struggle with, myself included.

So today, why not show 3 acts of kindness and have a big impact on yourself and others?

Here are some suggestions – and remember to have fun!

1. Give someone a hug. Hugging is good. I love hugging. It releases endorphins and is proved to relieve feelings of depression. Wrap someone in a warm hug and feel the love.  Make sure it lasts at least 20 seconds to get the full effects.

2. Pay someone a compliment. We all love to hear how well we’re doing. Tell a work colleague or your partner, or your kid, how you appreciate what they’re doing. Get them to recognise their own strengths. It lights people up and motivates them!

3. Show yourself some kindness too. This is the most important one I feel. It starts within. If you’re kinder to yourself it makes sense you’re kinder to others. Notice the conversation you’re constantly feeding yourself. We all have it. Start a journal and notice what you’re telling yourself. Would you speak to others in the same way? Start writing words of encouragement instead. Notice your own strengths and successes. They are there. You just have to look a little closer.

Watch what happens….

What do you notice change in that moment when you extend kindness to others (or yourself). Do they soften? Do they accept a compliment, or do they try to dismiss it? Do they respond with a light touch of thanks that says more than words? Do you see something, perhaps gratitude, in their eyes?

And what happens when you show yourself kindness? Do you feel better? Does the dark cloud lift a little? Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Does it motivate you?

Remember: Start small and build from there.

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