What is kindness? Take a moment to think about it. How do you define kindness? It is a word we throw around often in society. We see the signs around our community in pretty art and fonts saying “Just Be Kind” but what does that mean?
Webster’s dictionary defines kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”. That’s the surface answer, but let’s look at it from a fresh perspective.
Kindness on the surface is something we, as humans, subconsciously crave. When you smile at someone and they smile back, or you hold the door for someone and they actually say “thank you” instead of just walking through, it lights you up inside, especially if you were just being nice, hardly expecting the deed to be returned.
Kindness is the most selfless form of care for yourself and others. When it comes to your health, performing simple kind acts has been scientifically proven to reverse the effects of stress. While stress makes you unhappy, suppresses your immune system, and progresses physical aging, kindness makes you feel a sense of joy, boosts your immune system, and slows aging.
We have all heard the basic forms of kindness; anonymously covering someone’s meal ticket, helping the homeless, just being a good person, etc. All of those things are still so important! Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ forgave you.” Here are 3 fresh ideas on kindness to maximize your peace and joy!
1. Walk Away From Negativity.
If everyone on Facebook is hopping on a bandwagon of hate or negativity towards a person, politics, food, whatever it is, walk away. You can be kind by simply not taking part in the problem. Notice when you’re typing, how your heart might beat a little faster and you post your comment just stewing in anger about the topic? That is raising your stress and not contributing to your peace. Feel free to share some positivity on the topic or walk away if you feel that negative remarks will raise your stress.
2. Be Sincere.
Honesty is the core of kindness. People can tell when you’re being sincere or acting out of obligation. I have a friend who will tell people random things like “I just got a baby llama” or “I died this morning” in a casual tone whenever they asked him how his day was just to see if they would pick up on it or keep moving! It’s crazy how many people would respond in automation with no questions asked, already assuming they would receive the basic response which required the basic, automatic response.
While I find this hilarious, it’s also quite sad that we lack sincerity and honest connections. Be intentional and sincere in your conversations with people. Be honest with them. Keep your word when you say you’re going to do something. Politely decline offers you are not interested in. Support others’ wins, ideas, and businesses with genuineness, but don’t say you’ll book a party with them soon if you don’t plan on doing it.
3. Be Kind To Yourself
I say this time and time again. You cannot pour from an empty vessel. It is so difficult to give to others with genuine joy if you’re too burnt out and perpetually putting yourself last. One of the first steps towards truly caring for yourself is teaching yourself that you are worth taking care of. If you can be kind to yourself, it is so much easier to give that uplifting energy to others! Consider the negative things you think or say to yourself on a daily basis. Things like “I’m too stupid to understand this” or “I can’t make this goal a reality because…”. Write down the opposite of these statements such as “I am smart. I can grasp this with enough focus and dedication.” Say it to yourself every day; multiple times a day if you need to, until you believe it. Here are some general affirmations that will empower you in your daily life to be more kind to yourself and others with ease.
•I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen because I know God, in love, is preparing me for my highest good.
•I am strong, confident, and kind.
•I accept others as they are, and in turn, they accept me as I am.
•I deserve all that is good. I release any need for misery or suffering.
•I am never alone.
•Today, the door is open to all opportunities for me.
•I approve of myself.
I encourage you to create affirmations specific to the voice of negativity in your head. Kindness is giving each other grace because we are all learning-that includes yourself. If you can’t find a kind person, be that person. You can start the chain reaction!