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Practice kindness this holiday season

December 17, 2017 GMT

One misconception about mindfulness is that it is a selfish practice. Though it’s true that you receive most of the benefits, some of those benefits spill into the rest of the world in very impactful ways you may barely notice.

I like to say that mindfulness is the most selfish thing that you can do for everybody else.

Most mindfulness practices revolve around a daily meditation practice, but if you pay attention, you can see the benefits of mindfulness in your daily life, off of the cushion.

I find the time around the holidays to be a great time to practice mindfulness. Though it can sometimes be a difficult practice around all of the possible stress-filled situations the holidays can bring, it is a great time to check-in with our practice to see what we are doing well at and what we could use to work on.

When checking out at a store, we sometimes rush through the transaction, barely acknowledging the employee at the register. Try to engage with the cashier; it doesn’t need to be long, just smile and say hello or even ask their opinion of a few of your products. If you are helped in the aisle, thank the employee and let them know that they have been helpful. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but these kinds of interactions can take us out of the thoughts running around in our heads, help us to develop concentration and focus and possibly even brighten up someone’s otherwise hectic day.

Silently offer thoughts of loving-kindness to people that make you angry. This is the tough one. It’s okay to get angered, but approach those situations with mindfulness. In most circumstances, anger only affects ourselves.

Say you have a rude or unhelpful customer service situation, silently say, “May you be happy.” If you are cut off in traffic, silently say, “May you be safe.” If a family member gets on your nerves at a