How to Be Kind? A Guide to Spreading More Good in the World

Life can often feel cold, chaotic, and downright unkind. Negativity seems to spread like wildfire through news headlines and social media feeds. With so much cruelty in the world, it's easy to feel powerless. But each of us has the power to increase the amount of kindness on this planet. Practicing kindness not only helps make the world a little better, it also boosts your own happiness and wellbeing. So how can you spread more kindness in your everyday life? Here are 15 tips to help you get started:

1. Smile and Make Eye Contact

Smiling at strangers as you pass them on the street or making eye contact with someone who looks sad spreads warmth and connection. You never know how much a simple smile might uplift someone's day. Looking someone in the eyes also communicates care and understanding.

2. Thank Service Staff

Servers, cashiers, baristas, flight attendants and all types of service staff often deal with rude and impatient customers. Make sure to thank those who help you throughout your day. A sincere “Thank you!” and a friendly smile can turn around an employee's tough shift.

3. Open Doors for Others

We often rush through doorways lost in our own heads. Take opportunities to hold open doors for others behind you. Let someone with a lot of bags go ahead of you in line. These small courtesies show respect and care.

4. Donate What You Don't Use

Do you really need 5 almost-identical sweaters in your closet? Clean out unused items in good condition—clothing, books, furniture—and donate them to charity. Your trash could become someone else's treasure.

5. Leave Bigger Tips

Many service staff rely on tips to make a living. When appropriate, leave larger tips than you normally would to share your good fortune. Even a couple of extra dollars can make someone's day when they're struggling.

6. Let Someone Go Ahead of You In Line

If you're not in a huge rush, let the person behind you with just a few items go ahead of you in the grocery store line. Your small sacrifice of time can save someone the frustration of waiting behind your full cart.

7. Stop to Help Someone With a Flat Tire

Don't just drive past a stranded driver on the roadside. Pull over to assist someone with car troubles like a flat tire. Your act of kindness in that situation can make all the difference for that person in an emergency.

8. Compliment a Stranger

A sincere, specific compliment about something as simple as someone's coat or haircut can make their entire day. But make sure compliments don't cross the line into unwanted attention before dishing them out.

9. Pick Up Litter

Picking up trash you see in your neighborhood, at the park or on hiking trails helps keep public places clean for everyone to enjoy. Bring along an extra bag when you head out to collect any litter you encounter.

10. Let Someone Merge In Front of You

Traffic is frustrating for everyone. When a car needs to merge into your lane, be courteous and make space instead of speeding up to block them. Your willingness to allow merging helps keep roads safe.

11. Make Homemade Gifts

Nothing feels more heartfelt than something homemade. Make time to create gifts like baked goods, artwork or other homemade items to share with loved ones “just because.” Homemade gifts show you cared enough to put in effort.

12. Write Thank You Notes

Everyone loves receiving mail that isn't bills or advertisements. Handwrite thank you notes to show your deep gratitude when someone helps you out or gives you a gift. The personal touch of written correspondence warms hearts.

13. Run Errands for Neighbors

Check in on elderly or disabled neighbors to see if they need any errands run, like grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions. Offer to save them some time and energy by running simple errands.

14. Surprise a Loved One

Unexpected acts of kindness mean so much because there's no obligation attached. Surprise your significant other with flowers or your roommate with their favorite snack next time you're at the store just to show you care.

15. Pay Genuine Compliments

Tell your coworkers what you admire about their work. Let your friends and family members know specific traits you value about them. Spread sincere compliments freely and often.

How to Make Kindness a Daily Habit

Practicing random acts of kindness here and there is great. But you can multiply your positive impact by making kindness a consistent habit. Here are some tips for integrating kindness into your daily life:

  • Set daily kindness goals. Each morning, decide on 2-3 specific acts of kindness you want to carry out that day. Avoid vague goals and get specific instead.
  • Spread kindness online. Social media offers opportunities for kindness too. Share encouraging posts, give compliments in comments and refrain from hurtful remarks.
  • Volunteer regularly. Look for consistent volunteer opportunities with organizations addressing issues you care about. Regular volunteering leads to deeper fulfillment.
  • Keep kindness top of mind. Place inspirational quotes and images related to kindness around your home or as wallpaper on your devices. Visual reminders help kindness stick.
  • Teach kids about kindness. Instill kindness in the next generation by emphasizing empathy and compassion with kids. Lead by example in how you treat others.
  • Practice mindfulness. Stay aware of the present moment in order to notice opportunities to help someone in need. Slow down and be attentive.
  • Add kindness to your calendar. Schedule time for specific acts of kindness just like you would any important event. Setting aside time ensures you follow through.
  • Start a kindness movement. Get your whole community involved by starting a neighborhood kindness initiative. Work together to spread more good.

The Benefits of Leading a Kinder Life

Living with more kindness not only helps make the world a little brighter for those around you, it also comes with benefits for your own wellbeing. Here are some of the perks you can expect to receive in return for more kindness:

It lowers stress levels

Repeated acts of kindness produce endorphins which counteract stress and anxiety. Helping others takes your mind off your own worries.

It boosts happiness.

Kindness has been shown in research studies to increase personal feelings of wellbeing and life satisfaction. Doing good leads to feeling good.

It improves health.

Being kind can strengthen your immune system and lower your blood pressure according to studies. Less stress on the body translates to better health outcomes.

It slows aging.

Lower stress levels and increased life satisfaction from practicing kindness may help you maintain a youthful appearance as you age. Kindness leads to less visible wrinkles!

It strengthens relationships.

Showing more kindness in your close relationships reinforces loving bonds. Kindness feeds intimacy and connection with loved ones.

It inspires kindness in return.

When others experience your kindness, they are more likely to pay it forward themselves. One kind act influences many more in a positive ripple effect.

It builds community.

Regular small acts of kindness towards your neighbors and community members strengthens the place you call home by improving social cohesion.

It gives you purpose.

Making kindness a central part of your life provides you with a sense of meaning and purpose. Kindness helps you feel you're making a difference.


In a world that often feels cold and isolating, simple acts of kindness serve as the glue that binds us together in warmth and care. By intentionally practicing more kindness each day, you can lift the lives of others, strengthen your community, boost your own joy and health, and inspire kindness in return. With so many benefits and such profound impact, what are you waiting for? Go out and spread more kindness wherever you go!

5 FAQs About Practicing More Kindness

Why is being kind so important?

Being kind is important because it makes the world a little bit better for the people around you. It boosts moods, forges connections, and motivates kindness in return. More kindness means less suffering.

What are easy ways I can be kinder each day?

Some easy ways to increase your daily kindness include smiling at strangers, holding doors open for others, sending encouraging texts to loved ones, tipping generously, and helping anyone you see who looks like they need assistance.

How can I get my kids to be kinder?

Teach kids empathy by discussing how acts of kindness make others feel. Encourage them to come up with their own kindness ideas. Lead by example in your everyday treatment of others. Reward kind behavior with praise.

What are fun ways to spread kindness?

Some fun kindness ideas include leaving encouraging sticky notes around your community, starting a kindness club at school, making homemade baked goods for neighbors, and starting a kindness challenge with friends to see who can complete the most kind acts in a week.

Where are some good places to volunteer my time?

Great places to volunteer include food banks, animal shelters, nursing homes, youth mentoring organizations, habitat for humanity, churches, litter cleanup groups, charitable 5K races, hospitals, and so many more! Look for causes you care about.

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