Kindfulness

Katie Piper’s 8-step guide to a kinder and more compassionate life

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Katie Piper
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The presenter, host of podcast Extraordinary People and stylist.co.uk guest editor wants you to start doing these eight little things whenever and wherever you can.

Would you like to be kinder? Below, you will find a little list of the little things I do to try and give a boost to those around me. Some are blindingly obvious, while others are more subtle – but all of them are small and achievable acts of compassion.

Why? Because, in my experience, an act of kindness doesn’t have to be huge: the little things in life are just as important

1) Pay someone a compliment

It can be embarrassing paying someone a compliment, but, in the modern world, these don’t even have to be done out loud. When you’re scrolling in the morning on Instagram, don’t just like someone’s photo, but make a point of going into the comments section and write down one nice thing that you see or feel about that picture. Then the person will wake up that morning and that positive message, that little compliment, will be the first thing they see. 

2) Say good morning to a stranger

Picture the scene: you’re on the escalator on the tube on the way to work, everyone’s very moody on their commute, and you smile at a stranger and wish them a good morning. I think it would actually catch them off guard and feel entirely unexpected, especially in a city – but in a really lovely way. 

3) If you see someone carrying something heavy, stop and help them out

This one comes from personal experience: whenever you see somebody with a buggy or a heavy suitcase trying to get up the stairs, stop and offer to help them and pick the other end of the load up! You know when you’re just trying to carry all your stuff and it’s just the straw that breaks the camel’s back? That small offer of assistance could be the difference between someone bursting into tears or not. 

4) Start following the one-in, one-out rule

This is something that I always do myself: every time you buy or receive a new item of clothing, give an old one away. You could drop it at a charity shop or shelter, sure, but you could also actually just gift an item of clothing to someone you know – something you know they will like and enjoy.

5) Treat someone

Always, always bring the coffees – well, at least once or twice a month. When you’re on you’re way into work, hit up the WhatsApp, find out what people want, and bring in a real coffee for everyone. Trust me when I say they will all really appreciate it. 

6) Listen more

It’s so easy to butt into a conversation and offer your own thoughts or opinions, but try not to interrupt. Instead, focus on what the other person is saying, think twice and be the person that listens. It’s so much more valuable than constantly talking. 

7) Get writing

This may be a little more time-consuming than some of the things on this list, but it’s something I’ve done and I know it can have a huge impact: write to someone who has changed your life. This could take the form of a letter, or a card, or even something as simple as going on Facebook, finding an old school teacher or boss and messaging them to say, “I just want to let you know that you were the mentor and you really helped me with my confidence: thanks to you, I’m now in my dream job.” Whatever you decide to do, just write to somebody and let them know the impact they had on your life. 

8) Pass it on

Always, always, always pass a good book along on to somebody else. Simple.

For one day only on Thursday 15 November, Katie Piper has taken over stylist.co.uk as part of The Kindfulness Project, packing the site with articles on what she’s learned about empathy and the importance of self-care..

For similarly inspiring and uplifting content, check out Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People, available on Apple Podcasts now.

Image: Liz Weddon/Unsplash

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