There are times in life when you are stressed, frustrated or angry with yourself, someone or situation. You may end up annoyed, rude and sending out negative emotions. Learning how to control your negative reactions in stressful situations with kindness is key to staying calm.
Begin by Understanding Your Emotions
What is creating the stress and negative emotions? Are you overwhelmed at work? Is it a person that is triggering the emotion? Finding the root cause of your negativity will allow you to make changes to reduce the stress.
Change What You Can
Once you find the root cause, take action to change it. If it cannot be changed, can it be cut from your life? While making changes, cut out other stress triggers as much as possible. Change negative thought patterns into more positive ones.
Incorporate Healthy Outlets
Regular exercise can give you an emotional lift and an outlet for negative emotions. Meditation helps you relax. Volunteering and helping others will help you be less negative.
How To Respond To Negativity With Kindness
- Don’t mirror others negative actions and thoughts. Treat them kindly. This could mean apologizing if it’s appropriate. Acknowledge other’s points of view without judging.
- Speak in a pleasant, friendly voice as if you were talking to a friend. Keep your voice controlled and without anger.
- Keep an open and relaxed body posture. Don’t roll your eyes, sigh or make other negative body language movements.
- Breathe! Take a few long, slow, deep breaths in through your nose, pause slightly, then let your breath out. Deep breathing relaxes you and re-centers your emotions.
- Distract yourself by engaging in something pleasant or helping someone else with a smile. It puts you and others at ease.
Just because you are stressed doesn’t mean you need to react negatively to others. Instead, act in a way that is kind and considerate of the feelings of all involved.
Kindness is such a simple act. It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or resources unless you want it to. The smallest acts of kindness often go the longest way to changing lives. You can cultivate more kindness in your life in many ways. If you are stumped for ideas, here are a few to get you started.
Character Traits of Kindness
When carrying out your act of kindness, be sure to not intrude or embarrass the receiver. Discretion is key. Give your smile or gift then move on, unless the receiver wants to talk. Some acts of kindness can be carried out anonymously as well.
Above all else, carry out your acts of kindness because you genuinely want to make yourself and others feel good. Not because you expect something in return.
Kindness is not only about what you do but how you do it. It can accompany every type of action from praise to criticism. When an action comes from a place of empathy, you experience kindness. Kindness comes in many forms. It’s about honesty, empathy, forgiveness, trust, patience, compassion and humility.
1.Kindness begins with yourself. Be kind to yourself when you take a misstep. Being angry and negative over a mistake you made can lead you to being angry and frustrated with others.
2.Begin with compassion, then with kindness. Recognize that we all have challenges before making a comment or making an assumption about another person or situation Follow up your compassion with an act of kindness.
3.Be of service to others. Do at least one kind act for someone close to you, an acquaintance or stranger or yourself every day. It can be as simple as bringing a coworker a cup of coffee or giving a stranger a smile.
4.Choose to be kind even when others are not. Being kind is a choice you have every day.
5.Give for the sake of giving. Don’t expect anything in return. When you give kindness expecting thanks or some form of credit, it is self-serving and some form of making the recipient feel indebted. The rewards are better when we are kind without expecting any payback.
I heard a story about a little boy from a family who had very little money. He really wanted fishing lures but had no money to buy them. This anonymous person bought a handful of fishing lures and a package of gummy worms and left them in the family mailbox along with a note saying they were free. The boy was thrilled, and the anonymous person was filled with happiness at seeing the boys joy. Now that is kindness!
6.Practice being kind more often. Like everything, we become kinder the more we do it. Random acts of kindness get easier. Do one small, kind thing each day for someone and pay attention to the impact you make. It will make you feel lighter, kinder and notice more opportunities to be kind.
7.Kindness is contagious. Be the one who shows kindness every day and others will begin to do the same. Be the boss, leader, coworker, family member or neighbor who people follow your actions in kindness.
8.Kindness lasts. When you do an act of kindness for someone or it’s done for you, it is remembered. Maybe you were shy in college and you had a staff member compliment you on your looks. Do you still remember the unexpected kindness? How do you want to be remembered?
Studies have shown that when we do kind things it makes us happier and increases our self-love and respect. Doing some act of kindness daily can put you in a better mood more often.
We’ve discovered why kindness has a powerful impact on our own lives and the lives of others in the world. The benefits of kindness far outweigh the small actions it takes to do a kindness for someone.
Kindness helps you stay healthy, happy and feel good about yourself. By doing for others without expectations you are spreading joy that can change a life or at least someone’s day.
Kindness is necessary when you’re stressed or facing negative emotions. Instead of quickly reacting, take the time (patience) first to clear your thoughts and assess your feelings. Then react in kindness.
Kindness has several common characteristics we all have or can develop including compassion, honesty, trust, patience, humility, empathy and forgiveness. Use each of these daily to spread kindness.
No matter how small or how big an act of kindness you perform, it will change someone’s life in some way. Find a way to be kind every day. You never know who is watching.