How to Transform Kindness Into a Habit
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama
Find Your Happy
Every month this year we are highlighting simple practices that we can engage in to invite more peace, joy, and contentment into our lives. Why? Because our mission is to help people live richer lives, and we’ve found evidence to suggest we can all increase our happiness through simple skills that are easily learned and turned into habits. This month our focus is on kindness.
Kindness, generosity, and compassion are innate human qualities. Still, these emotions require intentional practice to realize our full potential for experiencing them. When we do something for the benefit of others without expecting anything in return, no matter how small, the reward systems in our brain activate and we experience happiness. These positive feelings serve to reinforce our kind acts and make us more likely to want to perform them in the future. Therefore, even when we are not feeling particularly generous, intentionally practicing kindness in our everyday lives can eventually transform kindness into a habit.
Practice: Expressive Writing
Each day, perform at least one random act of kindness. It does not matter if the acts are big or small, and the recipient does not even have to be aware of them. Here are some examples to get you started: help a friend with a chore, give up your seat on the bus, buy a coffee for the person in line behind you at a café, provide a meal to a person in need, or drop some groceries off at your local food bank. After each act, write down what you did and do your best to describe how it made you feel.
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