Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of that is the beginning of wisdom. –Theodore Rubin

Doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested. –Martin Seligman

1. Invite a friend, an acquaintance, or a friendly coworker to do this exercise with you. Take two minutes each to share a moment of kindness that you have experienced – today, earlier in the week, earlier this year, even back in the third grade. It might be a moment when someone held open the door for you, picked up something you had dropped, smiled as you walked down the hallway, or sent a supportive email when you were going through a hard time – something that registered in your consciousness as support from the universe and gave you just a little lift or steadiness.

2. Then, for two minutes each, describe what it’s like for you to be sharing your story with your partner now, receiving kind attention, resonance, and support – even, or maybe especially, nonverbally. And describe what it’s like for you to hear your partner’s story, empathizing with the feelings and understanding the meaning of it for them.

3. Then pause silently to notice any effects in your body-mind from doing the exercise, such as a sense of buoyancy, comfort, or relaxation.

4. You can do this exercise with variations – recalling moments of courage, patience, or serenity – with great benefit to your brain and to your capacities for resilience. Each time you explore a quality necessary for resilience, you are inscribing that quality more deeply in your neural circuity.

Sharing positive emotional experiences with others, in a setting of friendliness and mutual care and concern, evokes the neural synchrony Barbara Fredrickson describes in Love 2.0. The shared resonance brings warmhearted-ness and delight to everyone present. This practice is very self-reinforcing: you learn firsthand how cultivating positive emotions shifts the functioning of the brain.

Linda Graham in Resilience