It’s easy to become the person you always wanted to be. Committing to a few thoughtful and generous activities each day can make a positive difference in your life and the lives of those around you. Kate Hanley, author of HOW TO BE A BETTER PERSON, shares 7 easy ways to become a better, kinder person. The best part? They’ll only take a minute or two out of your day!
1. Smile More
Your facial expressions send signals to your nervous system and can trigger either a stress response or a relaxation response. If you’d like to spend more time in the latter, raise the corners of your lips when you’re
in conversation as well as when you are engaged in other activities. What about when you’re driving? Or checking email? This isn’t about appearing friendlier or putting on a facade; it’s about raising your barometer for moment-to-moment happiness.
2. Master One Healthy Recipe Each Week for Three Months
Revamping your diet can be a daunting challenge—so daunting that you don’t actually get around to doing it. Rather than making sweeping changes, aim to try out one healthy recipe each week. Since you really only need about a dozen recipes to be able to cook most of your meals and not get bored by lack of variety, you’ll have a whole new repertoire of healthy homemade meals in just one season.
3. Stop Trying to Fix Others
You may have a well-honed ability to see what’s not working and devise a solution, but applying that skill to other people can be troublesome. What you see as helpful problem-solving is likely to make the other person
feel defensive to the point where nothing you say can penetrate. Save your problem-solving for filing taxes or streamlining a process at work. When it comes to people, aim to be more of a support-giver. Often, people are simply looking for someone to listen and commiserate with them.
4. Just Say No to Ghosting
If it’s time to break up with someone—a romantic interest or a friend—resist the urge to simply never call again. You don’t have go into detail, but do the other person the favor of knowing where things stand. It can be as simple as, “I’m sorry, this isn’t working out for me. Good luck.” The pain of hearing it’s over heals faster than the confusion and betrayal that comes from wondering what happened.
5. Actually Silence Your Phone
There’s no denying it—mobile phones have become an essential part of our daily lives. So essential that you may hesitate or forget to turn off the ringer. But there are still places where being away from noisy technology is not only nice, it’s a necessary part of the experience. Be the person who actually turns off your cell phone at the movies, the theater, and yoga class so that everyone who has paid good money to have an immersive, transporting experience can have it—including you.
6. Turn Off the Wi-Fi Each Night
Wean from the screen and reduce your electricity use by using a timer to switch off your Wi-Fi router each night (say at eleven p.m.) and automatically start it up again the next morning. You’ll likely sleep better too, because you won’t be tempted to stream another episode, you’ll reduce your exposure to the stimulating light your devices emit, and there will be one less source of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your home, which have been shown to impact sleep cycles.
7. Do More Squats
Squats are one of the most efficient whole-body movements to build and maintain strength—they help you build bone strength and make you better equipped for things like running, walking, and jumping. Doing three sets of ten squats, even with no extra weight, is a great five-minute workout that will keep paying dividends as you get older, and will perhaps even make it so that you won’t need one of those chairs with a motorized lift in your golden years.
These are only a handful of ideas–for more where these came from, grab a copy of HOW TO BE A BETTER PERSON, out now!
Plus: Here are 12 ways to make a difference in your community.