Kindness – Practice it Every Day

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

ARE CONTAGIOUS – CATCH THEM!

Random Act of Kindness

Enough with all the political insults!  “He did this; she said that; Liar! Cheater! Thief! Pig!” You get the idea.

How about being kind to one another?  The interesting thing about being kind to people is that it not only affects you and that person, it affects anyone who witnesses it, too.  

And boy I had a morning of both experiencing and witnessing.

GRAMMIE, FIX IT – PLEASE!

It all began with a birthday party.  My granddaughter was turning nine, and she wanted to have a “Paris Fashion Show” Party.  She and her mom had bought some of the decorations. Here’s the discussion between us:

E = Wow!  Wait until you see this! We bought this way-cool pink paper runway!

Me = Great!  Let’s put it down. (I started spreading it out in the family room.)

 E = Ugh! No! It doesn’t look right on top of the patterned rug!

Me = Well, we can’t pick up the rug.

E = Oh! Grammie, fix it – pleaseIt will make my birthday sooo much better.

All you grandparents out there know that a plea from a grandchild (especially with the cutest dimples ever!) is all we have to hear.

And so began my trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores in Houston, Texas.

Disclaimer: Though my maiden name is ‘Singer,’ like the sewing machine, I can’t really sew. No one in my family could do more than crookedly sew on a button. In fact, my mother was once asked by a sewing teacher “Can you do us both a favor?  Keep your money, and please don’t sign up for the next course!”

As I said, a plea from a grandchild can change a person.  I decided that large pieces of black fabric on each side of the runway would do the trick to cover up the patterned rug. Hence, a visit to Jo-Ann’s.

And there – in a period of 30 minutes – two (2) RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS occurred.

A TALE OF TWO KINDNESSES

As I entered – wondering if I could be arrested for impersonating a real sewer – I spotted a saleslady walking fast in my direction.  I asked,  “Please help me with black fabric at least nine feet wide to border the pink runway for my granddaughter’s 9th birthday party.”

She stopped, asked me a couple of questions about whether I was going to baste the binding or stitch the selvage, and I paused and said, “Just some black fabric; no assembly required.”

She smiled and knew just where to take me. Then I asked the price. She said, “$9.99/yd.”

“Uh,” I groaned, doing the math, “But I need nine yards. Is there anything cheaper?”

This kind and patient lady looked at me and thought for a moment.  “Do you have a cell phone?” she asked.  I said I did, and she looked toward the door and quickly said, “Download the coupon for a discount. I’ve gotta go.”  Then she hurried off saying, “I was on my way to the bathroom when you came in.”

I found the coupon – IT WAS FOR 60% OFF!  Her random act of kindness saved me over $50!!! (That’s #1)

Random Act of Kindness

So with my head held high I took my big bolt of fabric (and my coupon) to the cutting table to have it measured and wrapped.

There was a line.  Two nuns in light brown habit were were being helped with several lengths of beautiful fabric.  In front of me was a lady buying supplies for her business – making dog coats for winter that she sells over the internet.  (Once again I glanced around for the sewing police!)

Suddenly, an elderly lady gently pushed her way through the people and went up to the nuns.

“I’d like to buy your fabric today,” she said.  The nuns smiled and looked a little uncomfortable.

A woman who was with the nuns said, “Thank you, ma’am but they are fine and can pay for this purchase.”

“No, I mean it,” the lady said.  “I really want to pay for their fabric.”

The woman hesitated. “Well, ok, maybe you can pay for one of the choices. Thank you, very much.”

The elderly lady was quick to respond. “No, you don’t understand. The Carmelite nuns taught me as a girl, and it has led me to a very loving and fulfilling life.  I want to thank them by buying everything they want to purchase.”

Suddenly there were hugs all around.  Everyone was beaming as the nuns gratefully accepted her generosity.  This random act of kindness (That’s #2) made me promise myself to clean out my garage, share my 60% off coupon, and go home and tell my granddaughter, “Of course, I would be happy to moderate your entire Fashion Show Party!”

THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS

Your road to happiness includes doing at least one Random Act of Kindness every day. So make a point of being kind –  compliment the girl behind the lunch counter, or simply take a moment to say hello to your neighbor.  You be the one to set the example.

We really need it in this hostile election season.

Loretta

P.S. Tell me about your Random Acts of Kindness and how they made you feel. Send me a note.

Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / arquiplay77; Celebelle

Help Someone Shift to Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking Jumping for Joy

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Dee21

Sometimes people just need a little help to shift from negative thinking to positive thinking.  When your kids, friends or co-workers start complaining and being negative with ‘poor me,’ ideas, YOU can be the person who turns it all around.

Here’s an example from a recent morning … one of the women who work at the Membership Desk at the YMCA wasn’t busy when I checked in. She looked bored, so I smiled and engaged her in conversation:


            Me:  How’s your day going so far?

            Her: Much better now that I’ve had my coffee and woken up. 

            Me:  Did you have a late night?

            Her: No.  I’m just used to sleeping in now.  I have to change that schedule when I begin teaching.

            Me:  When do you start?

            Her:  August 1st – that is sooo soon.  Summer was way too short.

            Me:  It’s all in how you look at it.  Try telling yourself, “Wow! There are

             still two and ½  weeks left of summer.  I have time to do some fun

            things.”  (I paused for a moment.) So, what are you going to do?

            Her: (thinking) I don’t know.  (Soon she starts talking fast.)  I’ll go to the pool a lot; I’m doing a 5K ‘Run in the Dark’ next week; and I’ll work and make some extra money and go shopping.

  (And she flashed a big smile with eyes shining in all directions.)


Why fight negative thoughts?  First of all, positive people get more out of life; and secondly positive people are much more fun to be around, which in turn spreads positive feelings in all directions. They tend to be more energetic, try new things, and certainly enjoy life more.

Just remember that people are in charge of their own thoughts.  Of course, there are times when you will have doubts and feel negative. That’s normal. The question is do you let yourself believe those thoughts or do you acknowledge the negative ones and then move on to replace them with a better outlook.

Here is an interesting infographic for you to consider. (By the way, an ‘infographic’ shows information and data graphically in a simple, clear and quick way.)

http://www.happify.com/hd/how-to-stop-negative-thoughts-from-getting-you-down-infographic/?srid=hfp

In my MAKE HAPPY A HABIT campaign, I shared how doing five simple things every day for 30 days can actually help you rewire your brain toward happiness. My Accomplish-Coaching Instagram @makehappyahabit has 30 days of daily encouragement to spread around.  #makehappyahabit

Make Happy a Habit with Loretta Saff

Five Simple Steps to MAKE HAPPY A HABIT

1 – Practice Gratitude: First thing each morning say out loud three (3) things you are grateful for.

2 – Journaling: Before bedtime, write down one good thing that happened that day.

3 – Meditation: Spend 2-5 minutes listening to wordless music, focusing on either the music or your breathing.

4 – Exercise: Exercise at least 20 minutes a day.  If you are short on time, this can be done in two 10-minute intervals.

5 – Be KindPerform a random act of kindness.  Hold a door for someone; compliment the salesperson who helps you or surprise an old friend with a phone call or email.

Sometimes people just need a little help.  Remember that when you start your day.  Whether it’s your child, a friend or a co-worker, YOU be the person who helps shift a mood from negative to positive.

The great thing about your being the spark for others is that  you’re also helping yourself. Negative thoughts get pushed aside, and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by positive people!

Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

Life is Good

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nelosa

Loretta

Make Happy a Habit-Join the 30 Day Challenge!

 Make Happy a Habit with Loretta Saff

Are You Ready to MAKE HAPPY A HABIT?  

Get ready…, Get set…, Go!  It’s almost March 20th, the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Happiness. This is the day we make sure to not only do what makes us happy but also to spread happiness by encouraging all around us to do the same. But what if you just don’t feel happy? What if you call yourself more of a ‘glass half-empty’ kind of person?

Assuming that you really don’t enjoy being that way, I challenge you to take the next 30 days to MAKE HAPPY A HABIT! I’ll give you the steps so you become empowered to look at the world differently and feel the joy and contentment you deserve. The #makehappyahabit campaign begins March 20th. You’ll see daily support on Instagram, Facebook, TwitterPinterest and anywhere else you can help me  ‘share’ it.

Strong and Healthy

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

There is real science behind the emotions of happiness and love. Dr. Barbara Frederickson, Psychologist and Neuroscience Professor at UNC, Chapel Hill said, The ways that we feel happiness and well-being are actually showing up in the cells of our immune system and supporting our health.”  What a great testimonial!  Why wouldn’t we want to Make Happy a Habit?

My challenge to you is based on the work of psychologist and happiness researcher, Shawn Achor. Surprising as it sounds, he says that it is possible to re-wire your brain to be happier.

Rewire Your Brain Make Happy a Habit

You don’t have to wear a smiley-face hat or tell funny jokes. Simply doing the following five activities daily can rewire your brain towards happiness. (I include my order to just give you some idea of fitting it into your day. You organize it however it is convenient for you.)

 1 – Think of three things you’re grateful for.

I like to do this – out loud – in the morning when I get up. I encourage those around me to join in.  It’s a good family tradition.

2 – Write about a positive experience from the past 24 hours.

I do this in the evening. I keep a notebook on my nightstand. This simple activity has the amazing power of changing your entire mindset. You will comb through the day, tossing aside the negative and focusing on the positive.  Guaranteed to make you smile.

 3 – Exercise (at least 20 min)

I am a morning person, so I make time before breakfast to get in my exercise. Whether it is a brisk walk, time at the gym, or climbing stairs, give yourself 20 minutes and increase your activity.  I’m including  four short videos of easy five-minute exercises on my website. Do all four in a day and you’ll have your 20 minutes!

 4 – Meditate (5-7 min)

I find that meditating mid-afternoon works for me.  No need to think mantras or posing cross-legged on the carpet. The simplest meditation can be sitting quietly listening to soothing music  (no words) – and focusing on either the music, your breathing, or a body scan from head toe. If you want some guidance, I like the free app HEADSPACE, which you can use with your earphones while sitting at your desk.  Meditation calms and centers, helping you focus and better handle whatever comes your way.

 5 – Perform one random act of kindness.

All day every day is a good time for a random act of kindness. Performing a selfless act that helps, compliments, or encourages someone has an amazing effect on all involved.  You’ll enjoy every minute.  To help get you started, I’ll post of list of suggestions on my website,

YOU CAN DO THIS!  In fact, YOU CAN GET YOUR KIDS TO DO THIS!!! Encourage everyone around you to get involved.

Parenting_Make-Happy-a-Habit

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachov

I will post the MAKE HAPPY A HABIT! Challenge on social media starting March 20th, and it will continue for 30 days.  Don’t worry if you come upon it in the middle; just get on board and get started. You keep count of your 30 days.

Please leave a note on one of the platforms below or comment on this blog post to let me know how you are doing. Post some pictures of what you are grateful for and what makes you happy. I want to know how your random acts of kindness and writing about your positive experiences made you feel. Tell me about your time in meditation. And be sure to tell me when you start feeling like HAPPY is becoming a habit.

Good luck! And get your camera ready – you’ll be finding yourself smiling a lot more.

Loretta

#makehappyahabit


Share Your Progress by:

  1. Instagram – FOLLOW @MAKEHAPPYAHABIT for inspiration and share your own pictures of what makes you happy
  2. Facebook – LIKE /MAKEHAPPYAHABIT and post an update about how the challenge is changing your outlook
  3. Twitter – FOLLOW @ACCOMPLISHCOACH and tweet your own progress
  4. Pinterest – FOLLOW /ACCOMPLISHCOACH and start a Happiness board

Don’t forget to include #makehappyahabit in your posts

Photo Credits: brain-circuit-2939906 / Celebelle