The Importance of Kindness

How kind are you? Whether you are as kind as it’s possible to be, or feel there is room for improvement, being kind is an important skill to possess. But what is kindness?

Essentially, it’s the quality of being friendly, considerate, and generous. Falling within that could be other qualities such as being affectionate, warm and caring. Being kind is a strength and it’s something that you can (and should) be to other people and to yourself. It can help you to feel happier and more fulfilled in life as you are taking care of your wellbeing and other people will appreciate your kindness towards them.

So, how do you be kind?

One key way of being kind is to recognise when other people are in need. This is quite wide ranging as someone in need could be experiencing serious trauma, whereas someone else in need may just be struggling to carry something and need help opening a door. They are two very different needs, but both require some degree of help. Opening the door for someone is a random act of kindness that the person struggling with what they are carrying will appreciate. Reaching out to support someone going through something traumatic could make a huge difference to that person’s life and help them feel that they are not alone.

Paying someone a compliment is another way of being kind. If someone looks nice, tell them. If you think someone is a nice person, express that to them. But don’t forget to extend the compliments to yourself. When you wake up in the morning, stand in front of your mirror and say something nice to yourself. It’s a nice way to start the day. You can also compliment yourself on other things. If you cook a nice dinner, compliment yourself on a meal well done. If you achieve something at work, compliment yourself on a job well done. It’s ok to congratulate and compliment yourself, even if it does feel strange at first.

By being kind to yourself, you are protecting and preserving your mental wellbeing. How we talk to ourselves shapes our thoughts, our beliefs and ultimately our reality. For example, if you keep telling yourself that you are not attractive, you will then believe that you are ugly and then that becomes a reason for positive things not happening to you. A better way of living would be to give yourself a compliment each day. Stand in front of the mirror and say out loud the things you like about yourself, or that your hair looks nice today, or that you look good in a particular outfit. This helps to shape positive beliefs about yourself. It boosts your self-esteem, which makes you feel happier and healthier.

Another way of being kind is to celebrate successes. It can be easy to become envious or even jealous when someone else achieves success, but it’s better for them and for you to celebrate it. Becoming envious or jealous will only eat away at you, so while you’re not being kind to the successful person you are also not being kind to yourself. By being kind you are able to be openly happy for the other person and in turn that happiness can rub off on you.

Ultimately, kindness is a value and a way of living. If you choose kindness, you are choosing happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction and positive mental wellbeing. So, have a think about how you can be more kind to yourself and others. Then you can make it a natural part of your life.