Steve Maraboli said:
If you want to find happiness, find gratitude
which is precisely the target of gratitude-based positive psychology interventions. Gratitude evokes strong feelings of positivity in the person who gives it and the person who receives it. No matter what type of practice we follow, gratitude interventions have proven benefits in increasing happiness and satisfaction. This is a very important theme and I am sure you already know the power of gratitude. Studies have shown that happiness and kindness go hand in hand and complement each other. Positive psychology interventions focusing on compassion can be simple acts like buying someone a small token of love, volunteering for a noble cause, donating something, or helping a stranger in need. Kindness reinforces happiness and positivity.
“Three things in human life are important,” wrote novelist Henry James in the early 20th century. “The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” Kindness moves us. It nourishes and heals; strengthens and uplifts. A smile, a touch born of kindness can crack open the most rugged of hearts, unclench the tightest of fists. It has been hailed by poets, philosophers, and spiritual leaders as a gift, a religion, a language audible to the deaf and visible to the blind, a weapon to fight evil, and mankind’s greatest delight.
Have you noticed how remarkably unkind people can be towards themselves when they talk about their lives. Perhaps worst of all, we don’t recognize how unkind we are to ourselves. If we would tune into our internal dialogue, most likely we wouldn’t say those same words to someone we love: I am not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I am not something enough. We are mired in regrets from the past or worries about the future. We compare and despair. Naturally, it may be easier to be kind to others than to ourselves, so it may take some intention and effort to befriend ourselves, too.
One way of cultivating compassion and kindness is through loving-kindness meditation. It involves closing your eyes, thinking of someone in your life who you love dearly and sending them wishes of well-being, love, and safety by repeating silently:
May you feel safe,
May you feel happy,
May you feel healthy,
May you live with ease.
Kindness and gratitude are not something that demands hard work or huge amounts of time. It’s something all of us can strive to achieve every day. And, knowing that the power of kindness and its benefits are immense for ourselves and not just the receiver, why wouldn’t you want to help others more?
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