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Spend World Kindness Day practicing small, random acts of kindness toward yourself and others.

Today probably isn’t written and circled on your calendar in bright red ink—in fact, you may not even know it’s World Kindness Day (November 13). Some people know it as “random acts of kindness” day. Whatever you prefer to call it, we’re hoping you also choose to celebrate it. Why? Because kindness is contagious. And, it’s even been known to bring the person practicing it true happiness.

Here are three simple ways to practice kindness today—and not just outwardly, but inwardly as well.

Towards others

Remember when buying coffee or a meal at the drive-through for the next person in line was a “thing”? Let’s get back to that “pay it forward” and “pass it on” mentality. Today, treat a stranger to coffee, or hold the door for someone and smile at him or her. Donate to natural disaster relief. Write someone at work a note, thanking him or her for hard work or a job well done. Be kind in traffic and let another car merge in front of you.

There are so many small acts of kindness you can do for other people throughout the day that don’t require much time, energy or even money. These are just a few ideas. Jot down a list of your own, then go out and practice kindness. Who knows, your small act could change the course of someone’s entire day.

Toward the earth

This beautiful planet we call home does a lot for us every minute of every day: It sustains life. But most of the time, we’re so busy in our own little worlds that we forget the larger world around us.

Treat the earth with a little kindness today. Recycle, pick up trash, bike to work or just take a moment to step out into the sun and thank the earth for providing you with food, water, oxygen and a place to call home.

Toward yourself

For many of us, this is the most difficult kindness to practice. Self-kindness is becoming a hot conversation in our culture, but sadly, many of us don’t actually take time to practice it.

But researchers have found that practicing self-kindness hosts myriad health benefits, including toning your vagus nerve. Higher vagal tone, in turn, can lead to lower stress, overall heart health and stronger social bonds. In other words, the kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you can be to others.

Today is a perfect day to try some self-care and self-love. Maybe that means going to the gym and spending some quality “you” time working up a sweat. Maybe it means skipping the gym and taking a rest day to foam roll or get a massage. Treat yourself to some meditation in the morning, or a cup of coffee at your favorite café. Or maybe, spend some time in front of the mirror verbalizing three things that you love about yourself. You can even write them down if you prefer! It’s OK to remind yourself of your best qualities and to find confidence in loving yourself for who you are.

Of course, we should practice random acts of kindness daily. But if you’ve found your soul worn down and depleted, use today as an opportunity to refuel it with a little kindness.

Use this loving kindness meditation to lower your stress and decrease negative emotions.

Photo credit: Kikovic, Thinkstock

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