On the subway the other day I saw a guy take his backpack off to make room for another passenger desperate to get into the car. As he removed his bag he looked her in the eye and asked gently ‘can you fit?’. ‘Thank you, yes’ she said as her face relaxed with gratitude and his face lit up with a small smile.
Some people might see this behavior as a common courtesy but the way he did it – engaging with her and showing genuine concern was a small act of kindness. And this act made them both feel, well, better. And plus it’s contagious – I also felt happier just by watching this interaction take place.
When we are kind to others, especially when we don’t have any obligation to be, it sparks a light inside of us. Biologically this is a surge of serotonin, the hormone that makes us feel happy and calm. So if you are feeling tired, rushed, stressed and frustrated this morning or next, try being kind to someone around you, it might just be the thing you need to turn your morning around.
Amelia Kruse is a Certified Leadership Coach based in New York working with professionals and entrepreneurs globally.