Research completedon over 400,000 people showed that physical exercise, even just 15 minutes a day, can actually lengthen your life span. Getting up off the couch and just doing something physical could be the key to longevity.
Think about what 15 minutes a day could do if you exercised your emotional muscles and found a way to deliberately be kind and compassionate toward another person. What if instead of trying to immediately change yourself into a constantly nice person, just like taking the short walk around the block instead of training for the triathlon, you found one person, for 15 minutes each day, to whom you could extend a kind word, a nice smile or a helping hand?
When it comes to being kinder and gentler, too many people think it requires a major transformation. If you weren’t nice today or you “lost it” when that person cut you off in traffic, or when someone had 15 items in the “10 items only” line, you may think being kind is not something you are cut out to do. We expect to be able to live blissfully and kindly no matter what the external events may bring.
So, what if you just set a goal of 15 minutes each day? You could be more focused and more determined, just like with physical exercise, if you knew you were only looking for 15 minutes to be kind and caring about someone else. In fact, there are so many kind things you can do in only 2-5 minutes! Sometimes taking a small step can lead to a larger one, but even if you stayed at the 15-minute level every day, you’d be getting more and more exercise for the emotional “nice muscle” inside. What sorts of thoughtful or kind things could you do in 15 minutes? Here are some ideas; some will appeal to you more than others, depending on your financial and physical limitations:
Don’t limit your niceness to 15 minutes a day if you want to do more, but commit to find some time – each and every day – to both get off the couch and get your physical muscles moving, and find those places to get your nice muscles moving!