Because kindness produces feel-good emotions that make children happy it can be seen as a natural antidote to stress, anxiety and even depression. Science explains it as increase parasympathetic activity which allows the body to relax and regenerate.
Simple ways to show kindness on a daily basis:
1. Smile – Such a simple gesture, but one that is hardly done in recent times. Just think how many people you can show kindness to with simply curving up your lips and showing your teeth. It’s infectious, and in this simple act itself — you are lighting up the world because what often happens when you smile? Others smile too.
2. Give Eye Contact – This one is just really interesting to me, because I rarely see eyes anymore. We are going around daily, but no one truly look at each other. What really fascinates me, are the conversations I observe people having without them looking at the person they are conversing with. I’m always looking around me and spotting people here and there, going about their business without so much as a glance toward other human beings in their path, because they are mostly confined to their phones; headset on listening to music or paying attention to issues without an interest in the persons affected by the observed issues. Have you ever noticed what happens when we make eye contact with someone else? Connection happens. We need more connection.
3. Say “Thank You’ – What happened to simple manners and courtesy? I know many persons have them, and use them, but there are some really rude people out there. A simple thank you can have an enormous impact on a person, don’t you think? I might as well add “Please” to this task too. Any time you have a chance, say these words and mean them.
Appreciation goes a long way in this world. We need more of it. I think there are many people who do their jobs or live in their roles without the gratitude they deserve. I’ve witnessed people walking away from others with no mention of a thank you, and I’ve also seen many request or demand things with no “please”. Why are we so intolerable these days? These words translate into respect.
We all deserve that, yes? Two words, they make a difference. Let’s all use them more.
4. Acknowledge other people’s presence. As you fly by those people in your life that you may pass over and over again, it’s a really kind thing to acknowledge their presence. It doesn’t matter if it is a homeless person or the Prime Minister, everyone deserves the respect of acknowledgment.
5. Compliment someone – This one’s my favourite thing to do, but it takes just a little itty bit more effort on your part, but I promise the effort is worth it. When we are in public, there are so many people we see and often we think to ourselves how cute they look in their outfit, or how great their hair looks, or how adorable their kid is — why don’t we just SAY IT to them? I seem to be one that have no problem doing that. I just love seeing people’s faces light up after I deliver an impulsive compliment to someone I meet or pass by when I’m out in the world. It “sometimes” throws the person off guard, but more often it surprises them with delight.
If we have nice thoughts about people, why not tell them? It doesn’t take much time at all, and I promise it’s worth those few seconds of discomfort when approaching someone with kind words. I wish more people did this. If you are naturally shy, I understand your hesitancy. But may I challenge you to step out of that safe place and go for it? It won’t be as painful as you anticipate it to be. I promise. And the payoff is totally worth it.
“No act of kindness, No matter how small is wasted” Aesop.