6 Simple Ways To Be A Kinder Human Being
2021 is a 5 year in numerology, a year of change. It feels like we are starting to see a glimmer of light and a sign of hope of better days to come.
As our collective wellbeing gets created out of our individual wellbeing, the question becomes what you can do today to be a part of spreading that light and growing that hope? Well, one thing we can all do is to be kind to one another and be kind to ourselves.
Here are 6 simple ways to be a kinder human being that you can take action on today, right now. I dare you to do an experiment and try this out.
1. Talk Less, Listen More
Replace verbosity with deep listening. It is said that listening is one of the loudest forms of kindness.
It is amazing how much more you learn and understand about what’s happening in a room and with other people when you listen well. Deep listening shows respect and indicates interest, openness, and connection.
One of the evergreen training topics that companies offer employees is “Speaking Effectively” and/or “Communicating Effectively.” The missing piece is too often the listening skills. Why not educate yourself on what it means to be a good listener? The more you practice, the more kindness you create.
2. Splash a Smile
Smiling (and laughing) happen to be the simplest and greatest stress-management tricks of all. It shifts your physiology by reducing the stress hormone cortisol, which releases you from the fight-or-flight mode that you may get stuck in at work. Plus, it increases your endorphins — the “happy hormones” — which also act as the body’s natural painkillers. Less stress un-binds your energy and you become lighter and kinder.
By smiling, you are sending a disarming energetic message to others of your confidence and trust that all is well. And don’t just limit your smiles to the workplace. Smile at total strangers on the street. I do it all the time and it feels great.
And let’s not forget that smiles are social magnetizers…smiling and laughing is naturally attractive. People trust someone who smiles, and they love dealing with a person who is happy and fun.
If you want to be bold, you might want to take a minute or two at break time at work and get your team or family to do some laughing yoga as a group. Try it — I promise it will totally change the energy in the place and open up the creativity floodgates!
3. Indulge in Curiosity
Replace indifference with interest in other people, and to your surprise, they might just open up to you. Curiosity instead of blaming and judging creates trust, and you’ll find that people will be more willing to engage and give of themselves.
Everyone is required to be more innovative and creative at work these days, and the key to unlocking ingenuity and cleverness is to be curious. Asking questions and being willing to learn from others not only benefits you but also empowers them, and that is an act of kindness.
Let your curiosity be at top of mind at all times.
4. Sprinkle Appreciation
Saying “Thank you” and “I appreciate you” goes a long way in creating kindness. When you give appreciation to others, you are expressing and expanding the energy of seeing them, hearing them, and valuing them. You will get appreciation reflected back to you. That feels good. Kindness flows both ways.
I often have participants at my workshops and retreat do an appreciation exercise. They are encouraged to give acknowledgment to anyone or anything that they have experienced — it could be gratitude for taking the time to attend with an open mind and invest in their own growth and learning, it could be thanking for kind words or actions by one of the other participants, appreciation for something they learned or felt. Or simply an appreciation for life.
And don’t forget yourself! — Self-appreciation is the very foundation of personal self-esteem and centeredness. From a place of confidence, you are more likely to be both kinder to yourself and others.
5.Liberate Your Generosity
Generously give of your knowledge, wisdom, time, and appreciation, and your “Kindness Bank Account” will start to swell.
Instead of focusing on yourself and your individual success, focus on the team and the company’s vision of success. That’s where the power lies, as together you will contribute to something greater than yourself.
Being supportive, helpful, caring, and loving of your co-workers doesn’t cost you anything except a hint of awareness. And the deeper your awareness becomes, being generous takes on a life of its own, and you begin embodying generosity effortlessly.
As you heard in the stories earlier, competition is the present norm in too many workplaces. The new workplace evolution is to shift to collaboration, in which everyone shares generously of their genius, which in turn creates much greater results and a win-win for all.
6. Stop Judging
We are taught to judge and evaluate. Judge what is “right” and “wrong” and “good” and “bad.” For some people, something is “good” and for others, it is “bad.” And sometimes we find ourselves changing our minds about something we had judged as “bad“. Has that ever happened to you? It sure has happened to me. Therefore the less we judge the more open space we hold to see things in a different light.
When you judge anybody or anything, your experience of the person or the situation remains the way you see it. You immediately trap your own energy around the experience and what you know about the situations. Plus, what you judge in others or situations also indicates that you are judging yourself in the same way. Ouch!
If you release the judgment, you automatically free up your energy, open your heart, and that helps you to expand your mindset. Your acceptance and understanding deepen. Kindness is created for yourself and others.
Take stock of your judgments over one day. Jot them down as soon as you become aware of them, and at the end of the day look over the list and ask yourself if it was worth spending all that energy on judging. I bet the answer is “No.” The more you keep your energy free and open, the happier, more productive, and joyful you become — and being kind becomes your way of being.
As you start amplifying your awareness of kindness within you and around you, see if you can plant seeds in the hearts of those around you. Teaching our little ones kindness is a great place to start. And as to planting seeds for the bigger humans, being a role model is the most powerful way of planting those seeds.
Have fun with your experimentation!