Grab a hot drink
Research suggests that a steamy cup of tea could be your ticket to a kinder lifestyle. In one University of Colorado Boulder study, participants who briefly held a cup of hot coffee (versus iced) judged others as having more generous and caring personalities. In part two of the study, participants holding a hot therapeutic pad (versus a cold one) were more likely to choose a gift for a friend instead of for themselves. Researchers concluded that experiencing physical warmth increases our warmth toward others.
Put a plant on your desk
Engaging with natural beauty is another simple way to encourage yourself to act kindly. In one study at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers asked participants to fill out a survey about their emotions while sitting at a table where many or few beautiful plants were placed. The participants were then told the experiment was over and that they could leave, but that they could stay and volunteer to make paper cranes for a relief effort in Japan. Participants who sat at desks with the more beautiful plants crafted significantly more cranes than those who sat with the less beautiful plants. The results suggest that experiencing the beauty of nature increases positive emotions, which leads to kindness.