The Four Kindnesses
We need to direct kindness towards other people and things as well as ourselves. As a daily practice, write, think, or speak one to three of each daily and reap the benefits!
It's a real drag to be around someone who has something negative to say about almost everything. Accentuating the positive can make a noticeable difference. For example, you can declare the latest party you went to was a total bust because not many friends showed up or you could be delighted over the company of those who graced you with their presence.
Looking at the glass as half-full is like giving water to a thirsty plant. By leaving out the negative observations and focusing on what you liked instead, you'll elevate your inner state as well as others around you. As you go through your day, replace the "no" with "yes, yes, yes."
Who doesn't just love being told what they're doing right for a change? In his book The Power of Positive Parenting, Dr. Glenn Latham, suggests that the ratio between praise and corrective feedback should be about twenty to two. And this concept doesn't just apply to children. Across the board, it's infinitely more effective to praise actions that you want to encourage than to punish those you disapprove of. People can't get enough genuine praise, so keep it coming, especially when someone is going through a difficult time. Some examples of praise are:
· I'm glad you brought that up.
· You did a good job on that.
· I like what you just said.
A simple gesture of appreciation can be all that's needed to bring love into the room. Expressing appreciations for others doesn't negate the differences we might have with them, but it super charges the good we see in each other. Instead of criticizing and judging, focus on characteristics or actions that we admire and voice them. Appreciations can be general or specific. Here are some examples of strong appreciations:
· I appreciate how you helped me on this.
· I appreciate your sense of integrity.
· I like how thoughtful you are.
· I appreciate that you cleaned your room this morning.
· I'm glad you understand how I feel about this.
4. GRATITUDESBeing thankful for what you usually take for granted, you become aware of how fortunate and blessed you are. Expressing our thanks reminds us of our bounty and offsets complaints and feelings of entitlement. Specific gratitudes may be:
· I'm grateful for my good health.
· I'm grateful for my friends and family.
· I'm grateful for this meal. · Thank you for your help today.
The field of psychology is coming along. Here is a summary of some research
about the benefits of giving gratitudes.