It’s easy to be negative, but negativity is like a drug: the more you indulge, the harder it becomes to stop. Also, it leaves you feeling pretty bad. Ditch the bad attitude, and make a commitment to spreading good vibes only! Spreading kindness is the quickest, easiest way to positively impact the lives around you, and (bonus) improve your own mood all at the same time (warning: positivity is highly contagious).
Ban negativity for a day
Make a commitment at the beginning of a day to only say and do positive things. Banish negative talk – that means you’ll stay quiet unless you have something good to say (hey, just like mom taught us!). Keep yourself in check too and avoid negative self-talk. Give your critical inner voice a rest and harness the power of positivity!
Be generous with your praise
People aren’t mind readers, and even though we often think others know how we feel, (a) we’re usually wrong and (b) they still need to hear it. Give someone a compliment, positive feedback, or praise them for something they’ve done recently. You don’t know the difference it might make – a little encouragement can go a long, long way. Note: be sincere, because fake flattery is just not cool (refer to mom’s advice, above).
Most of us have a comfort zone of people we know and like, and once we’re in it, it becomes pretty hard to step out. Be intentional about reaching out to someone new, someone shy, someone lonely, someone you don’t know, or someone different. We don’t know what others around us are going through, and a sense of being included or ‘belonging’ can make a dramatic difference to someone’s happiness. Plus, you could make a friend. #bonus
Open your ears (and keep your mouth shut)
When last did you give someone your full attention? Are you a distracted, passive, or inattentive listener? Instead if interrupting or waiting for your turn to speak (which is not listening, just FYI), listen fully to the person talking to you – and yes, this includes eye contact. We’re all pretty similar in that we just want to be heard. Make an effort to really hear those around you (who knows, you might actually learn something in the process).
Perform a random act of kindness every day
This doesn’t have to be random. In fact, you can make these acts as intentional as you want (perhaps you know someone is going through a difficult time – make that person the target of your kindness and buy them a coffee, flowers, or lend them a book you love). Surprise the people close to you with small tokens of appreciation, or by doing them a favour (without them asking). Do something nice for a stranger and encourage them to ‘pay it forward’. Who knows how far the wildfire of kindness will spread if we all decide to do this…