By Eloise King | First published: September 11, 2011
Increase your kindness quotient in 10 easy ways.
Kindness has been proven to boost our health, wellbeing and act as a measure of happiness. But kindness revolutionary Jono Fisher says there is more than just science behind the phenomenon. “It is one of the few principles that can be agreed on by all regardless of race, religion or differences to be positive for all concerned,” he says. “Kindness is not just about being nice and sweet – it is about living fully, loving openly and having the courage to make a difference.”
Here are ten ways you can strengthen your kindness muscle, today.
Kind to self
Holistic Lifestyle coach Jo Rushton says kindness towards others is possible only when you master the art of kindness for yourself. “If you want to be a kinder person, the number one rule is that you must first give yourself permission to be kinder to yourself,” Rushton says. Try running yourself a candlelit bath, booking a professional massage, or taking the time to prepare yourself a nutrient packed meal.
Jono Fisher from Wake Up Sydney! encourages people to do kind things, anonymously. Some suggestions: Pay for a stranger’s coffee next time you order yours. Put money in an expired meter to save someone a ticket. The recipient will get a nice surprise.
Spend money on others
University of British Columbia researchers looked at whether happiness can in fact be bought. They found that if you use your money to help others, it can. Next time you’re feeling cashed up, shout a friend lunch, buy someone an unexpected gift or give some to a charity you believe in.
A lovely way to show support for a person or business you believe in is to do it publicly via social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. When someone feels strongly enough to state their positive opinion in public about you or your business, express your thanks and gratitude.
Brighten up your workmates’ day with the following:
• Pick flowers to put into a cup on your colleagues desk
• Offer your colleague a tea when you get up to make your own
Remember the free hug guy? Juan Mann made a ‘Free Hugs’ cardboard sign and took it out into Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, in an effort to connect with people and make them happy. Not only did it work but it was the beginning of Free Hug movements all over the world. Hugs are good. Try giving one today. See www.freehugscampaign.org
Leave loving written notes in the jacket, pants or bag pocket of your beloved. “They may just find it as they are going through their lowest part of the day,” says Rushton.
Expand your awareness
By expanding your awareness into the world around you, Rushton says you’re more likely to notice when someone nearby is struggling that you can help, such as:
• An elderly person with their shopping
• An over-committed waiter carrying too many plates
Why wait for Mother’s or Father’s day to do something special for mum or dad? Pick up the phone, lock in a day to make them lunch, or choose a nice card to write on and pop it in the post.
Picking up a piece of rubbish is an act of kindness. The unheard voice of Mother Earth says thank you.