Kindness isn’t just a trait that our most admirable friends and colleagues possess—it’s a skill that we can cultivate. Research suggests kindness can reduce pain, anger, and improve how we feel from day-to-day. But when the inner critic is activated, wandering thoughts and annoyances keep us entangled in difficult feelings.

That’s where mindfulness comes in—a space outside of the noise where you can begin extending kindness, first toward yourself, and then to others around you. Try the three-step practice below:

1) First, if you want to be more compassionate with others, direct some of those feelings toward yourself. Here is a 5-step practice for a better relationship with yourself (and your inner critic).

2) Then, send thoughts of compassion to those around you. Try this 3-minute loving-kindness meditation.

3) Finally, find simple everyday ways to develop your kindness muscle. Explore these 5 ways to be kind and generous every day.

Here’s hoping you all find moments to enjoy being mindful this week.