This week’s challenge was to radiate kindness…in other words to practice kindness in a mindful way. In Week 3 of the Kindness Challenge, Niki (from Richness of a Simple Life) provides some wonderful ideas on how to slowly incorporate acts of kindness. A simple strategy is to pick 1 behavior and just trying it out. Trying to make something a habit takes practice and picking one thing to consciously work on so it becomes a part of your daily rhythm so that you do not have to consciously think about the action is key.
RELATED: 4 Steps to Lasting Behavioral Change
These past few weeks provided ample opportunity to practice kindness. The news splashed across social media with the horrific events around the world likely has made us all feel a variety of emotions, ranging from depressed, scared, anxious and angry. However, it is in these moments–whether it be at work or home–to take a little extra time to support and be kind to each other.
RELATED: The aftermath of Beirut, Paris: Parenting isn’t the Same by Mary Sauer
It is especially hard not to let your mind spin with worry and anxiety when we live in times like these…when sometimes you feel like you have no control over any thing. However, it is in these exact moments that we must change our mind set and not let those worries paralyze us. We can choose to act, to be mindful of these feelings but to also not let those fears and worries take their hold.
I have always been a “touchy feely” type of person…ready and willing to give hugs (I am a pediatrician and a mom!) or known to send quick text messages to my friends and family to “check in” and let them know I was thinking of them.
I find that in these times, when our world is yet again rocked by unspeakable acts of terrorism and gun violence, that it can be hard to muster energy and fight the wish to draw within ourselves. It is in these darker times that you might want to just stay within our own circle of security. Yet during these moments, it is even more important to stay connected to our communities, our families, our co-workers and our friends. We need to be there for one another and radiate the kindness deep within to lift each other up when times get hard.
RELATED: 9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety, Right Here, Right Now by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS
So when I have meeting after meeting, rather than simply running back to my office to shut the door to try to cross off something, anything on my ever growing to-do list, this week I just had to take the extra few minutes to connect with colleagues, family and friends. To offer a hug, a smile, to check in. Last week, I sent a very dear friend a Touchnote postcard after thumbing through my iPhone camera roll and missing her! When she sent me a text after receiving the postcard, it brought me immense joy to reconnect and spurred us to make plans to get our families together again.
If we can all take a few extra moments from our day to ensure that the person next to us is ok, to ask how our colleague or friend is doing, to text someone you haven’t connected with in a while and should have…I urge you to not put that nagging feeling aside. Those small acts of kindness of reaching out is re-energizing and calming. We can find renewal and hope within each act of kindness we do, no matter how big or small.
Please join me in this Kindness Challenge. If you are interested…click here for more details. You don’t have to be a blogger to do so, you can do participate via Facebook and share your thoughts through posts!