In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Day, here’s six tips on how to initiate grace and compassion for a better world.
Put Your Technology Away
As the digital market grows more accessible, it’s tempting to engage with our devices rather than with those in front of us. Who you are seated across from should always be a priority over your cell. By giving someone your full attention, you will make them feel significantly more special and they will appreciate your kindness.
Give Compliments More Freely
Receiving compliments is one of the easiest ways to draw a smile, but admiring others can be equally as satisfying. If you’re having a bad day, commend someone on their accomplishment and see how much better you feel. Your morning latte will taste much better after you tell the barista what a great job they did with the cinnamon – froth ratio. A sincere word of praise is free and easy.
Smile More Often
Smiling has countless benefits. First, it’s a natural mood enhancer. Studies show that even when we “fake” grin it has the same neurological effect on the brain as a “real” one would; endorphins are released resulting in the feeling of happiness.
Attract trust and make a good impression on people with a smile. Showing off your pearly whites gives the impression you are generous and willing to help. The best part? It’s contagious!
Don’t Hesitate to Give Hugs
Like smiling, a sociable embrace is a mood enhancer. Humans naturally crave physical interaction and hugs release oxytocin which causes a decreased heart rate and drop in stress hormones. If you aren’t a naturally affectionate person, try and recognize how important touch is and be deliberate about it. It’s especially important if someone close to you is going through a hard time. Know that giving them a hug is likely going to make them feel better.
Promote Friendly Driving
Road rage is toxic. Give yourself enough time so you’re not stressing to be late and let a fellow driver pull in front of you. Remember other people’s driving isn’t about you. Maybe the person who is braking erratically has a screaming baby in the car or received some traumatic news. When you catch yourself getting frustrated, simply breathe and be kind. The more you practice neighborly driving, the less road aggression you will experience.
Resist Unfriendly Behavior
As difficult as it may be at times, try to consciously replace negative feelings for optimistic thoughts. Avoid replying to emails with quick retorts, don’t post anything damaging on social media and count to ten before you respond to a criticism. Reacting calmly takes patience but with practice and determination you can make it a habit. Your friends, family, peers and neighbors will thank you for your effort.
You may also like 5 Steps to Becoming a Better Listener. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Order Diane’s forthcoming book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life here.