9th Nov 2020 @ 14:02 by Sue

This week is World Kindness Week! I think we can all agree that the world could use more kindness every day. Sometimes it is hard to recognize how to be more kind than we already are. Here are some simple ways to spread kindness in your world!

Smile and make someone's day a little sweeter. Not only will it make them feel good, it’s physically good for you! When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins show too. Endorphins act as a mild pain reliever and serotonin acts as an antidepressant.

Just listen. Sometimes people simply need to be heard. You don’t need to fix anything or offer advice. Just listening can go a long way. Send a kind email or card, especially for no reason, but to simply be kind!

Give someone a genuine compliment. If you really do like their mask, tell them!

Help clean up without being asked. When living with family—whether you’re a kid, teen, adult, husband, wife, sister, brother—cleaning up before someone asks you can go a long way!

Hold open the door for the person behind you. I do this often and people genuinely appreciate it, and I appreciate it when someone does it for me.

Encourage a friend or family member when they are uncertain or unmotivated. Sometimes even a small bit of encouragement can help someone feel more confident. If that support could drive even one person to achieve greater things, imagine how much the world could benefit.

Make peace with someone who has hurt you. That can be difficult, but holding onto hurt and pain is only affecting your mental health, and quite possibly theirs too!

Strike up a conversation with a stranger, but only if you sense they are open to it. I’ve met the most interesting people in line at the grocery store or at the dining table next to me at a restaurant.

Let someone into your lane while driving. Kick that road rage to the curb and let it go! They may not even notice that you let them in, but you still acted in kindness.

Pay for the person behind you in line. I love this one! I have done it and I have had it done for me too. Both instances have made me very happy!

Say "I love you" a little more often to your family and friends. Even when you think they know you love them, everyone likes to hear those beautiful words.

Pause before you speak, and choose words with positive intention. This requires a bit of self-awareness, which can be challenging. It’s the pause that is the key, especially when you are getting into a heated discussion.

Pick up litter even if it’s not yours. This will always make the world a better place.

Gift something meaningful to someone: loan a book, bring flowers, drop off cookies, whatever suits your fancy.

Make a donation. There are worthy causes around every turn. You can make a difference even with a small donation.

When we receive kindness, we feel special about ourselves. If you can, continue to spread the kindness that you have received. It is a great way to pay it forward.

Be mindful of how you treat others. Considering our closest relationships, as well as our friendships, it is important to be mindful of how we treat others because of the impact it can have. Truly being considerate can go a long way.

Set an example of kindness in your world. Without role models who are kind, there would be less kindness to spread around.

Practice good intentions. When you say something nice to someone, remember your intention counts as well. Kindness and good intention usually go hand in hand. In the few cases where they cannot be aligned, try to practice good intentions, like not expecting anything in return for your gesture or compliment.