3 Tips to Grow in Kindness (and Beauty) as You Age
“What makes a woman truly beautiful?”
As we age, that question becomes more interesting and complex, doesn’t it?
When we’re in our teens or early 20s, we might think that girl “who has it all” is the most beautiful. She’s the one with the gorgeous hair, or the flawless skin, or the clothes that seem to fit just right.
As we head into our 30s, the most beautiful woman might be the amazing mother and/or career woman who seems to have it all figured out.
By our 40s or 50s, our perception might shift again. Now the woman who loves herself might be perceived as the most beautiful in the room. That confidence may be seen as attractive.
As we enter our 60s or 70s, we might come to appreciate beauty in all its forms, however that beauty presents itself.
The beauty of all ages...
But no matter how your perception of beauty might change throughout your life… there is one form of beauty that’s recognizable at all ages. It’s a type of beauty that’s just as obvious in your teens or 20s as it is in your 80s or 90s.
It’s the beauty that comes from within, that lights a woman up from the inside. It’s kindness. It’s love. It’s compassion. It’s the ability to laugh and lift others up, just by sharing that kindness with others.
This type of kindness makes you beautiful. It’s a beauty that only deepens as you age—if you’re open to it.
But how can you be open to it? How can you grow in kindness and beauty every year of your life? That’s what we want to talk about today...
1. Start by being kind to yourself, in all things.
You hear your own voice all day, every day, every single year of your life—even if it’s just inside your own mind.
So why not make it a kinder, gentler voice? Why not start by being kinder to yourself?
A simple way to start is by replacing any negative comments with positive ones. The next time you start dwelling on (what you consider to be) a negative aspect of yourself, remind yourself of something positive you do love about yourself.
For example, you may not love a certain feature on your body, but you may love what your body can do. Or you may love another physical feature that you don’t often pay attention to.
You may love your kind eyes. You may love that your body is still vital and powerful at this age. You may love that your arms can hold your grandchildren, your quick mind is the first to solve problems, or your beautiful face lights up when you’re around your loved ones.
Make a habit of saying “I love ___ about myself,” every time you’re tempted to criticize yourself. You may find this positive shift in thinking makes it easier to be kinder and gentler to yourself and others.
(As a side effect, being happier with yourself also makes it easier to be happier in general. Happiness tends to make all women look even more beautiful.)
2. Create kindness feedback loops.
When you’re kind to others, that kindness often comes back to you—sometimes in interesting and unexpected ways.
For instance, if you go out of your way to welcome a newcomer into your circle of friends, that person is likely to remember. She may be more willing to welcome a stranger into her group at some future date—or even remember you in your time of need.
That, in itself, is a type of kindness loop. You can practice creating those loops in your everyday life, just by unexpectedly doing something nice for someone else.
But there’s another type of “kindness feedback loop” that involves how you feel after doing good deeds. Studies show that simply doing something nice for someone else increases your overall happiness—not just in the moment, but over the long-term.
When something brings you happiness, you’re likely to continue it. This means being kind gives you happiness, and that happiness, in turn, inspires you to do more kind things. That’s a kindness feedback loop you can cultivate every year of your life.
Start right now. Pick one person in your life who could use an encouraging word. Reach out to that person, and let them know you care. Ask how you can help, or just listen if they need to be heard.
3. Give one face-to-face compliment every day for a month.
From computers to phones, we live in a world surrounded by screens. We’re just starting to see how all this screen time is affecting our ability to effectively communicate with each other.
It’s already making face-to-face interaction (and kindness) more difficult, and perhaps even more valuable than it was just a decade ago.
You can help counteract this lack of human interaction by continually sharing kind, uplifting words in person.
Try choosing one person to compliment every day. Perhaps start with someone close in your family like your spouse or grown child. Tell that person one thing you love about him or her. Then the next day, choose someone else—perhaps a close friend. Pay that person a compliment, or tell her why you like her. The next day, try giving a compliment to a complete stranger.
Do this every day for a month. See how it makes you feel. You may find that you enjoy spreading this type of kindness—and make a long-term habit of it.
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind this type of kindness looks good on everyone.
Tell us: Do you think this type of kindness is beautiful? Are you inspired to spread a little extra kindness today?