One of the best ways to increase happiness in your life is to increase kindness to yourself and to others. I often wondered how can one build this kindness muscle? Here is an easy 4-part strategy you can use to develop this habit.
1. Kindness In Action
Sometimes, starting with the inanimate easiest.
Here’s what to do:
In each action of your day do it with kindness.
- Doing the dishes, do it with loving and kindness toward the dishes.
- Sweeping the floor, do it with loving kindness towards the floor.
- When taking out the garbage do it with loving kindness towards the garbage.
- When folding the laundry, do it with loving kindness towards your clothing.
- When eating, do it with loving kindness and gratitude for the food.
Everything you do, do it with intentional kindness.
Try this for a day. It will literally melt your heart in a good way.
2. Kindness To Animals
For some people this is already easy. For some people they take their frustrations out on their pets. Whichever you are, this is a great exercise to develop the kindness reflex.
For this strategy here’s what to do:
With your pets and all animals shower them with kindness.
- think of them
- talk to them
- pet them
- care for them
do it all with kindness and love.
3. Kindness To Others
(Okay, were starting to get a little more difficult here!)
With every person you encounter:
- mentally send them kindness and love
- let your actions towards them be driven by kindness and love
- in your words, let kindness and love be your main intention.
Do this with every person you encounter or think about.
No judgment – just kindness and love.
4. Kindness to yourself
This is the big kahuna of this practice. This can be difficult or awkward at first, but if you’ve done the other three practices, you’ll be ready for this one.
In all your thoughts about yourself and to yourself begin and end with a kind intention such as:
- I love you.
- I give you all my kindness.
- I hold you tenderly in my heart.
In all your actions with yourself whether it’s bathing, eating, going to bed at night, meditating, and so on, let your motivation be kindness and caring love for yourself. The same love you would give to your most dearly loved person in the world.
Do this all day.
How To Use These Exercises
Do one strategy per day.
Or you could focus on one strategy per week or per month.
Create some kind of reminder – sticky notes or a string around your wrist or a few alarms on your phone. Whatever works for you.
If you do this enough, you will build the kindness habit. Your kindness muscle will be strong. Kindness will be your default action, reaction and intention.
And the wonderful side effect is you will be happier.
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Thank you for reading.
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