Want to Be Happy? Learn to Be Kind
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash
We are in the middle of a pandemic, and it is easy to get absorbed in our misery. The problem arises when we don't try to do anything about it. We don't try to be happy or positive about the fact that better things are around the corner.
So how can we break the cycle? What do we do to attract all the good things life has to offer? Be kind. That's right. They say being kind is overrated. It isn't.
No matter what you're going through, you're capable of doing something nice for others, and in the process, creating happiness for yourself. Here are four ways to do so:
1. Smile and Greet
Smiling at strangers is an exercise in compassion. It is a sign of positivity. During the pandemic, even while wearing a mask, I have been smiled at and greeted more genuinely than ever. I suddenly realized how comforting it is to be near other people, even though there is a distance of at least six feet separating us.
I now make an effort to greet everyone with enthusiasm and a big smile, or, while wearing a mask, smiling with my eyes. It doesn't matter whether I am on the phone, video calling, or meeting someone in person, I try to be full of life. It's the least I can do in these trying times.
2. Listen and Be Present
Everyone is navigating the new normal in their way. While some have adjusted beautifully, others are dealing with anxiety and stress. Therefore, always lend an ear to your loved ones. You never know who'd want to vent out their feelings and clear their headspace.
During that time, don't look at your phone or interrupt when they are talking to you. Just give them your full attention. If you can help them get a clear perspective about things in general, well, that's an act of kindness.
3. Compliment and Give Thanks
In this digital age, social media has given everyone a platform to troll, criticize, and be mean to each other. It is sickening, but sadly, that's a reality. I believe it's never wrong to make anyone feel beautiful and appreciated.
If your colleague has written an informative article, let them know. If a friend has bought a new pair of sunglasses, tell her she looks smashing. Trust me — it won't cost you a dime.
Similarly, if your spouse has made a fantastic cup of tea for you or your work colleague finished a project on your behalf, show your appreciation. It doesn't matter how big or small the task was; you must show your gratitude toward them.
4. Don't Judge and Criticize
They say the happiest people are always evaluating and improving themselves, but the unhappy ones assess and judge others. Which side are you on? Sure, we all judge at times, but the intensity differs.
So if you belong to the latter group of people, make a conscious effort to stop yourself from doing that. Cut off from anyone who amplifies your judgmental trait. When you criticize, you only create bad vibes.
It would help if you learned to be accepting of other people. I recently invited my childhood friend and her new husband for a social-distanced lunch. I had never met him before, and due to the pandemic, I couldn't even make it to their wedding. I had my apprehensions, but when I met him, I realized he is a good human being, and he makes my friend very happy. We started on a brilliant note, and I now see him as an integral part of my circle of friends.
There is always an opportunity for kindness. It hardly takes a second to give thanks, compliment a person, or put a smile on someone's face. We all have the power to show compassion and be kind to others; we just need to remember to use it.