It seems that kindness is often more common around the winter holidays. There are reminders everywhere from signs for season’s greetings and peace on Earth, traditions of gift giving, goodwill boxes and charity promotions. Whether it be various religions reflecting on the good in the world or on the winter solstice shifting from longer nights to increasingly longer stretches of day, there are reminders abound to focus on the positive. It has become such a popular time to remember kindness that even Christmas lights, snowflakes, reindeer, menorah, decorated trees… and of course, let’s not forget jolly Santa’s and friendly elves, have all become a visual anchor reminding us to be kind. However, these things can also become a reminder of stress, loss, and greed… they can begin to represent whatever belief people have learned to associate with them. If you focus on the loneliness, long lines, cold weather, uncle Burt’s bad taste in sweaters, or the rude and impatient people trying to bring you down with them, soon that’s what will get anchored. The same goes true for a focus on finding kindness and great awe inspiring acts of love. We anchor in feelings of what we most consistently focus on… and those thoughts and feelings anchor in our beliefs, which begin playing throughout our life like a record until something breaks the pattern.
So what can we do to create positive anchors to help us consistently feel grateful and kind and to want to give that feeling to others year around and not just during the holidays? Well, you could try putting up Christmas trees in June, or wearing your antler hat and elf shoes (you know, the one’s with the little bell that jingles every time you step and everyone thinks is cute at first… and then becomes really annoying). But of course we’ve learned that just because Christmas decorations are now being put out on shelves in October, that doesn’t necessarily create and anchor feelings of kindness. One positive anchor I find useful, however, is to start the day with habits of gratitude. Try this:
- Right now, go into your bathroom or a room with a mirror and say aloud 5 things you are grateful for. (Don’t overthink it at first. Anything will do.)
- Next, commit yourself to starting off each day like this for one week (at least, you can always do more) with a big smile and an empowered feeling of gratitude and happiness. Make this a morning ritual of gratitude empowerment training. (Your mirror each morning becomes your gratitude anchor.)
- Next, try using this daily feeling of gratitude to anchor a desire to search for kindness each day. Develop a habit of looking out for opportunities to be kind (and recognize it happening too), big or small, be a finder; someone who looks for the good. Not only will these acts of kindness help those they are done for, they will further anchor your feelings of gratitude.
It may sound simple, but even walking by a piece of trash and going out of your way to pick it up and throw it away can lead to anchoring feelings of greatness through contribution. You just have to acknowledge it and develop a belief that kindness is contagious and the more you do, the more you spread. If done consistently, these acts become habits, and these habits create greatness within us and around us to last all the year through. Happy Holidays!! Let’s create a great and kind 2014!
Now go forth and exercise your kindness muscles. Make acts of kindness a daily habit. Make someone’s day and help to create a better world by being a Superhero for Kindness.-
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