Breathing Space May 2024

by Dan Comer

Nurturing Resilience, Month 3: Kindness

If you’ve been following along (and who hasn’t?), this is the third month I’m sharing tiny habits that can impact your overall resilience. Rather than suggest you try to make big changes all at once, I encourage you to cultivate these small habits, which can create positive behavioral changes.

First, I shared about the habit of embracing the present.

Then I invited you to focus on gratitude.

This month, I’m pushing kindness.

Do Something Kind

Martin Seligman, an American psychologist, said this:

Doing an act of kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise that has been tested…Find one wholly unexpected kind thing to do tomorrow and just do it. Notice what happens to your mood.

Pretty powerful, right?! But who has time for kindness??? (Spoiler: You do!)

The opportunities for kindnesses are all around us; it is a simple act of noticing where they are.  And what is especially useful is to think small. We can’t all give away a million dollars (but if you can, reach out to me!). The smaller your act is, the easier it is to do it, and the more you do it…the more you do it.

An example might be to pick up one piece of litter in the parking lot on the way into the grocery store. Try it and see if it doesn’t start to be a mindless habit. My favorite is holding doors open for folks behind me and smiling at them. Try that one and let me know what you think.

If you’re looking for more, this list is full of other ideas.