Kindness and compassion are key components of living a happy life. When you practice compassion every day, long-term benefits include the ability to recognise, acknowledge and become attuned with the emotional experiences of others, as well as your own. This broadens your awareness of the world around you, therefore contributing to inner strength.

Here are seven tips for practicing kindness and compassion in your daily life.

1. Practise Yoga Postures

Practising physical postures is one of the most enriching ways to give kindness and compassion to yourself. Doing your asana practice on a regular basis creates expansion and nurtures your spirt, increasing your capacity to direct that energy towards others in your life.

2. Practise Yogic Meditation

Meditation gives you the ability to sustain mental focus, while experiencing moments of precious stillness, insight and connection with yourself. As a result, you delve deeper into learning self-love. When you gain this inner knowledge, the way you relate to those around you becomes more loving, calm, and enriching. Meditate on compassion as a part of your daily practice, in whichever way feels most loving to you. For example, you can extend wishes of love, health and happiness to individuals in your life.

3. Recognise Common Ground

Often in life, non-compassion stems from focusing on the differences between ourselves and others, rather than the similarities. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings with the same needs for love, shelter, food and affection. Remind yourself of this when you’re in stressful or unpleasant situations.

4. Deliberate Acts of Kindness

As you rush about your day, it’s easy to forget that something as simple as a smile could be just the thing to lift a stranger out of a slump. Watch for opportunities to help others, such as letting someone with children go before you in the line at the checkout, or doing your housemate’s chores without being asked. It really is the little things that count, and the follow-on effect means you’ll be smiling all day too.

5. Volunteer Your Time

If you want to expand your knowledge of the difficulties people face, try volunteering your time to help an organisation, charity, the local community, or anything else you deem worthy. While you’re helping a cause, you’ll also feel a greater sense of your immense ability to make a difference in the world, through kindness and compassion.

6. Remember to Compliment Yourself and Others

We often allow negative thinking to overtake our minds, forgetting to congratulate ourselves for all the little wins we have throughout each day. Because of this, we also forget to compliment those around us, though it’s one of the easiest ways to practice kindness. Watch for situations where you can offer encouragement, thanks and appreciation, to yourself and others. And most importantly, act on it.

7. Listen with Intent

Intentional listening is very different from simply ‘hearing’. Much of the time, we’re not truly understanding what another is saying to us, as our minds are interrupting, judging or trying to fix a situation. Really listening means that, in the silence of the act, you can sense oneness with another.

This, in turn, opens the door to compassion and leads to the expansion of kindness, each and every day.