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Husnara Begum, editor

Our ability to be kind is one of the greatest gifts all of us possess. Kindness can take many and any form. It can be as simple as smiling, saying thank you or doing something more substantial, including volunteering and charitable giving. It can even involve taking time out of your day to help a family member, friend, colleague or indeed a stranger and not expecting anything in return.

Kindness also has a magical healing quality. The next time you’re feeling down or upset, try saying something kind or simply ask somebody else how they’re feeling. In most cases you’ll slowly start to feel better because you’ve just taken the first step out of the downward spiral that sadness so often traps you in.

At some point in our lives we’ll all hit a bump in the road and what can make these experiences more manageable is the kindness others show us along the way.

Kindness sits at the very heart of human connectedness and it is this that makes us feel happy. When you’re kind to others it is typically reciprocated back tenfold.

Kindness is better practiced than reading or speaking about. I recommend building these five actions into your daily routine, starting today:

1. Smile – it’s so simple and yet so powerful, you’ll immediately feel better for it and make the recipient’s day great.

2. Say kind words, it’s is easy to be critical or negative. Try saying something positive or constructive instead…with a smile and see what happens. Alternatively, pay someone a compliment.

3. If you’re using a lift, hold the door open for other users. Too many are selfish for even this small act of kindness.

4. If you can, help somebody. It can be offering a few kind words of encouragement or asking them how they’re doing or if you can, giving your spare change to someone in need.

5. Any other random act of kindness, you choose.

These are just a few examples of steps you can take with little effort. But it’s also worth exploring and reflecting on what “being kind” looks and feels like for you. Please give it a go. If we’re all just a little bit kinder to each other we can eventually making the world a better place.