I’m going to be happier 30 days from now, and all it’s going to take is a little bit of kindness. I’m sick of feeling sick and sad, and I’m ready to spark some life back into my life again. Want to join me?
I was intrigued by the promise I heard today from Shaunti Feldhahn, author of “The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship.” I listened to her speak on a great little podcast called Vibrant Happy Women with Dr. Jen Riday. Feldhahn spoke of the benefits of cultivating kindness and encouraged listeners to sign up for a simple 30 Day Kindness Challenge designed to improve a relationship and increase happiness with just three simple acts every day.
The promise of a happier life through kindness sounds like exactly what I need in my life right now. The winter blues have hit me hard this season. My blues have verged on depression, to be frank. I’m not sure exactly what has triggered my sadness, but there are certainly many factors. My kids, my husband and I have all been contending with brutal bouts of the flu. The winter weather has been icky and gray. We’ve been stuck inside for the most part, where the same old messes are waiting to be cleaned and the same old activities are boring us to tears. And let’s not forget about the angst most of us have been feeling with the political climate surrounding us. I’ve personally felt the most tension in my life over the last few months because of real or perceived political disagreements between my community members and me. What’s going on in our world is important and certain things need to be addressed, but it can also be quite overwhelming. It’s all added up to a general feeling of malaise that has been really hard to combat.
When I’m feeling down, my personal relationships suffer the most. It’s hard to be supportive and loving when I am irritated and anxious. Yet, that’s also when reaching out and cultivating enriching relationships with my loved ones is the most vital.
Something has got to give. I can wait until things magically get better (getting more bitter every day that nothing changes), or I can actively try to make my world better. I’m going to choose action.
So, here’s how the 30 Day Kindness Challenge works. First, you choose a person that you’d like to improve your relationship with. Next, you do these three things every day for a month:
- Refuse to say anything negative about that person, either to them or about them when talking to others
- Find one thing positive to say to that person every day, and tell other people that positive thing, too
- Do some small act of kindness or generosity for that person every day
There are several people that I could choose to cultivate a kinder relationship with, but I’m going to be very bold and choose my husband, Lancelot. He is a generous, thoughtful, hard-working and compassionate man and I don’t always give him the credit he deserves. I take my anxiety and stress out on him, and he doesn’t deserve that. I take him for granted. I block my heart off when things get tense, but what I should be doing is exactly the opposite.
I’m welcoming the 30 Day Kindness Challenge into my life even though I know it’s going to be hard – very hard. I’m a little apprehensive, but I know my hesitancy stems from my selfishness. I’d like for people to be kind to me, you know? But I think I can set aside my selfishness for 30 days.
Either the 30 Day Kindness Challenge will help me be happier, or it won’t – but it certainly can’t hurt. I’m willing to take the chance. Will you join me? Simply vow to do the above three things for someone in your life over the next month, or even go to the website to sign up and get daily email reminders to help keep you on course.
The world can always, always use more kindness.
Wish me luck!