10 Ways To Be A Kinder Person

10 Ways To Be A Kinder Person

Julian Daizan Skinner is one of London’s top meditation teachers. A Zen Master, he truly understands the impact of our own behaviour on those around us. Call it good energy, karma or just doing the right thing, there are easy steps we can all take be a little kinder. To celebrate World Kindness Day, he shared ten tips for spreading some kindness.


“Smiling is good for you, but it’s also good for others. Even if you have to force yourself to smile on those super-rainy mornings when you would prefer to stay cosied up in bed, it’s worth it. Feel-good hormones will cascade through your system, turning even a forced smile into something genuine. You’ll find others will smile back – spreading the happiness.”


Be Aware Of Noise 

“It’s easy to get carried away with a loud phone call, chatting with friends or listening to music in public spaces. But it’s worth taking a second to think about how that noise might be affecting others around you, and then adjusting accordingly. Hush can be lush! Others might be suffering from the unnecessary noise – whether they’re trying to concentrate on getting a piece of work done or just having a bad day. You might even be suffering without quite realising it. I was recently on a train in Japan and there they even ask you to pay attention to the tap of computer keyboards – so thoughtful!”


Give Regularly

“Generosity is good for you and good for others. Don’t think about the amount you are giving, think about the frequency at which you give. It doesn’t need to be money – it could be your time, items you don’t use anymore or even your advice. Charities are always grateful for any help you can offer. Giving little and often builds a warm-hearted, generous spirit.”


Help Others 

“It’s often tricky when you’re in a rush, or have lots on your plate, to take the time to help others. But the benefits of doing so are huge. Next time you see someone has broken down, is struggling with a pram, or walking behind you through a doorway, try to help them by pushing the car, lifting the pushchair or holding the door for them. You’ll find yourself living in a different world – building new connections to others and to yourself.”


Be Grateful

“Your life is a gift. Be grateful for it and for how others – even in the smallest ways – make it brighter. When you live in a spirit of gratitude, it changes your inner world and, when you acknowledge others, they get to share it too.”



“When someone wrongs us in some way – big or small – we often find forgiving them difficult to do. This is natural but it’s hard on the system to carry grudges and resentments, and it poisons relationships. It’s so much better for all concerned to just let it all go.”


Wish Others Well

“Wishing others well when something positive happens in their lives is so good for us, as well as them. Those consumed by envy and jealousy – however competitive – always end up losing. There can only be one winner. And it won’t be you for very long.”


Slow Down

“We human beings are goal-driven animals. We often find ourselves reaching a milestone, then barely taking time to enjoy and appreciate it before moving on to the next one. However, life happens in the journey. Be kind to yourself and take a moment to acknowledge the process. So much joy and pleasure are waiting to be found along the way.”



“We all make mistakes. Try to clean up your messes ASAP when they occur. A high horse is a very unstable thing to ride. Begin by admitting your mistake and apologising for it. This will help you and the other person start to feel better and help to mend the wrong.”



“Be kind to the objects that pass through your life. Thank them, repurpose them, and find new homes where they can be treasured again. This is not only kind to other people but also to the planet.”

Julian Daizan Skinner is the founder of London meditation centre Zenways and co-author of Rough Waking, which is available here.

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