Random acts of kindness can go a long way.
What are random acts of kindness though?
How is it that some people understand how to show compassion everyday in their lives?
Well, compassionate people are sensitive to the needs of others and will often go out of their way to help another person or themselves in a physical, mental, or emotional way.
Compassion literally means “to suffer together."
It often arises when a person is confronted with another person’s suffering and feels compelled to relieve that suffering.
Compassion is defined by your actions and the simple act can make a world of difference in someone’s day or life (and in yours!)
Learning how to show compassion with random acts of kindness everyday of your life doesn't need to be extreme.
There are many simple acts of kindness that you can use everyday to share more compassion and happiness throughout the world!
When you encourage someone, you’re giving him or her the courage and confidence to do something.
An important skill of encouragement is being able to show people that their efforts are recognized and appreciated no matter what the outcome.
Encouragement can be accomplished through offering positive words of support and approval along the lines of, “Hang in there!”, “Don’t give up!” “You’ve got this," and “You’re doing great!”
You could also encourage someone through actions such as smiling and making eye contact, giving a hug or a handshake, listening intently, or shooting someone a thumbs up or giving a high-five.
Encouraging others takes compassion.
It’s recognizing when someone needs motivation and strength, and providing it for them in order to produce the confidence they need to be the best they can be.
Encouragement leads to confidence, which leads to action, which leads to accomplishment. See if you can encourage someone today.
Kindness is described as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Kindness takes selfless action which requires no praise or reward in return. Being kind is known to be good for you and everyone else.
Kindness releases feel-good hormones, eases anxiety, and is good for your heart.
It can strengthen your relationships with others and gives one a sense of satisfaction in life.
The opportunities to be kind each and every day are endless, really.
Giving hugs, expressing gratitude and empathy, surprising someone with an unexpected visit or phone call, stopping to lend a hand, complimenting someone in a meaningful way, saying thank you, smiling at strangers, these are all simple ways to be kind.
Think about how you can be kind to someone today.
One of the best ways to cultivate compassion is by volunteering.
Volunteering is freely offering to do something without being forced or paid to do it.
You could volunteer your support, time, or money to a friend in need or an important cause you believe in.
The simple act of helping someone move house, or driving an elderly relative somewhere, can be incredibly kind and a form of volunteering.
Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, gain experience, and build your resume.
And did you know?
The act of volunteering is known to counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety, as well as provide a sense of purpose and increase self-confidence.
What ways could you volunteer yourself today?
The power of a smile must not be underestimated.
Those who smile often are thought of as more likeable, competent, approachable, friendly and attractive.
That’s not all.
The act of smiling activates neural networks which improves mood and reduces stress.
And did you know that smiling is contagious?
When you smile at someone, they are likely to start smiling back as well.
"You'll FIND that life is still worthwhile- If you just smile." - Charlie Chaplin
So to smile not only boosts your own mood and makes you a more likable person in other’s eyes, but also makes a positive impact on another person, too.
Challenge yourself to smile more.
Smile at your neighbor as you drive by, the mailman as he drops off a package, and the lady at the grocery store who scans your groceries.
There is no easier way to spread more kindness and compassion throughout your day than by sharing a smile.
Say Thank You
What can make us more positive, more resilient, and improve our relationships too?
When you say “thank you,” you’re expressing gratitude for a behavior or service and you’re letting the person know you appreciate and value their effort.
It is an indication you do not take them for granted, and an acknowledgement that they matter.
We often say thank you for gifts especially the gifts for infants and special favors, but it’s not only the big things where a thank you matters.
Saying “thank you” is one of the simplest ways to say “I appreciate you."
Practice saying thank you more throughout your day for even the smallest things (that are often the easiest to take for granted).
Thank a long time friend for always being there, a parent for giving their love over the years, or a helpful coworker.
Regularly taking the time to notice and note the things you’re thankful for leads to experiencing more positive emotions and is a great way to express more compassion and kindness toward others.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
Listen to Others
We all want to feel heard and understood.
Being a good listener is part of having effective communication skills.
Some may say it is the most important based on our human need to feel understood.
Listening builds trust and respect.
It shows you care and are interested in what a person is saying.
People are more likely to come to you when they feel like they can trust you.
The next time someone is speaking to you, try some non-verbal communication skills such as eye contact or leaning in and nodding your head, to let the other person know you are engaged and truly listening.
Giving a person your undivided attention goes a long way. Be focused and engaged.
Follow up with questions but know when to be silent while the person is speaking.
Listening with kindness and compassion is a process that calls for more than just taking in someone else’s words.
You’re showing that you care about them, value their thoughts and feelings, and are willing to take the time to hear them out.
Consider really tuning in the next time someone speaks or shares their thoughts and feelings with you.
Another compassionate thing you can do for others is to be present for the people around you.
Being present is being fully conscious in the moment. It means listening to others, being aware of your surroundings, and engaging with those around you.
Think about the last time you had dinner with someone, whether a family member, a colleague, or a significant other.
How much of your time was spent experiencing that moment, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells and being completely present?
Or, how much of your time was spent checking emails, text messages, and social media, thinking about responsibilities and deadlines, or otherwise disengaged?
When you are being present with others, you are able to give and receive more kindness, compassion, and love.
Another way to be present and act more kindly is to take stock of other people, wherever you are.
The next time you’re with strangers on public transport, glance up every now and then to check to see if anyone could benefit from your seat.
The next time you’re entering a coffee shop, hold the door for the person behind you. While these may be considered small and random acts of kindness, they can go a long way in benefiting your and someone else’s day, mood, and life.
This article has been all about how to show more kindness and compassion directed at others, but equally as important is to have self-compassion towards yourself.
Self-compassion is a positive attitude we can have towards ourselves. It’s about showing kindness and understanding toward ourselves when we fail at something, or when we are hurt.
It means being able to relate to yourself in a way that’s forgiving, accepting, and loving when situations might be less than optimal.
Rather than being critical or judging ourselves harshly when we already feel pain, we can recognize the negative influence of self-judgment and treat ourselves with warmth and patience instead.
Forgiving yourself for your mistakes, thinking and speaking kindly about yourself, spending time doing things you truly enjoy, and taking care of your mind and body are all great ways to show yourself self-compassion each and every day.
Conclusion - Random Acts of Kindness
I hope that you have learned a few good ways to give more kindness and compassion everyday in your life.
The next time you are around others, consider some of the ways you could put these into practice to improve someone’s confidence, mood, or day.
And remember, being kind and compassionate benefits both the giver and the receiver.
If we all will make it a point to show a little more kindness and compassion everyday (to both ourselves and others), our world will be a happier place for us all.