Be Kind when Practicing Mindfulness - dummies

Be Kind when Practicing Mindfulness

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Recently, on a BBC television program, three keys to wellbeing were suggested: be mindful, be grateful and be kind. What a wonderful suggestion! Take a deeper look at this form of wellbeing: kindness.

When you perform an act of kindness for others, you get many benefits in return:

  • You feel great. Just think about the last time you did something nice for others. How did it make you feel? Perhaps you gave someone a lift, looked after someone with the flu or listened to your friend to help ease his worries.

  • Others feel great. By being kind to someone else, that person is likely to appreciate it and feel good too. Again, just think of the last time someone did a favor for you — it often feels great when someone thinks about you.

  • You feel part of a greater whole, connected with others. When you’re being kind to other people, you’re reminded that all people are interdependent on each other. Instead of seeing yourself as an isolated individual, you recognize yourself as being an important part of the whole.

    As a result, you’re more likely to be a good friend, partner or colleague and thereby improve your relationships — a core factor in wellbeing.

  • You focus on how you can help rather than your own little worries. When you’re helping others, you stop worrying about your own concerns. Your attention is engaged in how you can help others. You’re more likely to think about how fortunate you are — and naturally you begin to feel grateful and positive.

  • You feel more confident. When you’re being kind to others, you see yourself in a more positive light. You think about your usefulness and feel more optimistic. This feeling is heightened if you’re volunteering for a particular cause, too.

You don’t have to do some huge gesture of kindness; any small act counts. Keep a list of your acts of kindness and your subsequent feelings.