…would go a long way.
Mostly, people are just trying to make their way in the world. Nobody’s got it all figured out. People mess up and don’t always get things right, but their actions are rarely actively malevolent. So if we want to make the world a better place here are some things we could do right now to be a bit kinder:
1) Send a nice message – thank someone for something they did, pay them a compliment or just check how they are doing (let’s use technology and social media as a force for good in the world)
2) Notice someone who is struggling socially and try and include them in a conversation – it might be at a party, at the bar, at the school gate or in the park.
3) Model kindness to your children – share your last cookie/much needed fried egg-sandwich, include them in your preparation of a parcel of treats for a friend or help them help someone in need
4) Do a random act of kindness – this might be something tiny like picking up your neighbours bin when it’s blown over or something like a little token gift for everyone in your team at work (where I work someone recently gave us all a mini bag of jelly beans and a lip balm and it was very lovely to feel cared about).
5) Offer to help a friend out (walk the dog, feed the cat, watch their children in the park, drop in a cake when they are ill)
6) Volunteer your time (this is a great one to be kind and has a positive impact on your own mental health too). You could do something little like give blood 3 times a year or give up a day a week to share your skills with a charity, or anything in between. Charities are always looking for people to do little and big jobs so find something that fits in with your life
7) Be kind to yourself. Practice mindfulness or go to bed early.
8) When you are ranting about someone else (be it the person who just served you in a shop or your own mother) try and see where they were coming from and imagine what might have made them act in a way that bothered you. Practice getting into a compassionate mindset where despite your cross feelings you realise that they are just trying to make their way in the world too.
At Headspace Guildford we are big fans of Compassion Focused Therapy. This is an approach which helps adults and young people be kinder to themselves and recognise all that they are doing ok, despite the challenges. It’s a way to challenge the internal critic and cultivate a way to give yourself (and others) a break. Now that’s something for us all to aspire to….and on that note. I’m off to bed!
Take care x