Compassion is to look beyond your pain, to see the pain of others.Yasmin Mogahed
Compassion is as vital to life as the air we breathe. Imagine a world without Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and so many others.
Imagine a world without the countless individuals who risked their own lives to save others during wartime. Imagine a world without those who’ve performed incredibly courageous deeds of rescue during times of trauma. It’s unimaginable.
What is Compassion?
Compassion is helping to soothe another person’s suffering through acts of kindness, caring, and support.
It includes empathy, but it goes beyond that. Empathy is feeling another person’s suffering but compassion is being more concerned with the wellbeing of others, rather than yourself. It’s a natural skill that many people have forgotten in the hustle and bustle of modern life. However, you can relearn it and this article will show you how.
Benefits of being compassionate
1. Less Anxiety
Being more compassionate helps reduce anxiety by taking your mind off yourself. It gives you a break from your own problems and worries.
When you sense and understand what someone else is going through, you appreciate your own life more. You realize that your hardships are nothing as compared to them. Your life is okay. You gain a different perspective on your life.
And when you help them deal with their problems, your body generates happy hormones. You are at peace with yourself because you know you are doing the right thing.
2. Better Relationships
Being compassionate helps you understand other people at a deeper level. When you listen and understand others’ feelings, you cultivate better connections with them. This leads to stronger friendships and more meaningful relationships that can last even a lifetime.
3. Better Understanding
When you practice compassion, you gain a profound experience of what other people are going through. You compare and contrast your life’s hardships based on those experiences. Eventually, This helps you understand yourself more and develop greater self-awareness.
4. Better Health
The key reason compassion is important is that it’s good for you! It’s amazing for your own health and wellbeing.
When you are compassionate towards people around you, you will notice a sense of calm and serenity within yourself and your surroundings.
It nurtures meaningful relationships with yourself, your friends and your family. Ultimately, leading to good health.
5. More Happiness
This is a big reason why compassion is significant. It makes you happier. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, you’ll be less stressed, anxious or worried. Secondly, the profound desire to help others naturally draws happiness and fulfilment in you.
As said by Dalai lama-
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion
When you act with compassion, the people who interact with you, are inspired to act more compassionately too. Compassion can spread like wildfire!
So next time when you see a slow driver in front of you, who looks lost, confused and forgets to signal before stopping. Be a little bit compassionate, you’ll realise that this person is having a difficult day, or is a nervous driver driving for the very first time.
This is a far better way to respond than becoming angry, frustrated or impatient with this driver.
How to be more compassionate?
Are you worried that you are not inherently compassionate and might not be able to develop it? If yes, do not worry!
Compassion is like any other thing and can be easily inculcated in your personality with practice.
Here are some of the tips to help you:
1. Start With Yourself
As Pema Chodron said,
Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.
The best way to learn how to be compassionate toward others is to be compassionate with yourself. As they say: you can’t learn to truly love others until you learn to love yourself.
When you’re hard on yourself and focusing on all your mistakes, this benefits no one. Also, if you’re self-loathing, then you’re not in a good emotional state to be compassionate with others.
So instead, practice self-compassion. Start with acts of self-love. Focus on your strengths rather than dwelling on your weaknesses. Reward yourself and forgive yourself. By doing this, you’ll radiate the same love and goodness to others.
2. Don’t Judge
Your mind loves to make judgements, especially about other people, isn’t it! To be more compassionate, let go of judgement as much as possible and become non-judgemental.
This can be challenging to do, but it gets easier with practice. Whenever you notice yourself making a judgment about another person, immediately let go of the judgment and the meaning you created in your mind and switch to a caring or compassionate thought instead.
It’s impossible to know how someone got into that situation. It may be completely outside of their control. We can make judgements about how they got there, but we don’t know the reason behind it. And it’s also impossible to know how you would deal with the same situation yourself unless you had experienced the same difficulty or challenge.
Whenever you notice yourself making a judgment about another person, switch to making a better connection with them instead.
3. Motivate Others
Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation to boost someone’s morale. If someone you know is feeling down, one of the best ways of showing compassion is by offering encouraging words.
Positive support helps like magic. It has the power to eliminate negativity from life by illuminating positive vibes. It is always helpful to a person who is thinking they are either stuck or will never get out of the circumstances they are in at that moment.
4. Practice Gratitude
Another wonderful way is to practice gratitude. Notice what is good in your life, what is working out well and the things you appreciate.
When you’re being grateful for what you have, you value things in your life, you’re naturally more compassionate to those people who are less fortunate than yourself. If you are not content with what you have in your life, you’ll never feel true compassion for the unfortunate ones.
5. Be you!
Being compassionate is being yourself and acting naturally, it’s thinking, saying, and doing whatever comes naturally from within, from your heart, from your soul.
Often, we think we should say or do certain things to help another person. Forget that! The brain is for logical reasoning. However, when you think from the heart and become aware of your intuition, you can often help people more effectively and compassionately.
We naturally have compassion within ourselves. It’s just lost in the stresses and anxieties of modern daily life. When you take some time to unwind, you’ll find yourself and your compassion.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each otherMother Teresa
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6 thoughts on “Be Compassionate”
Lovely article, dear !! I even purchased your E-book- “Heal Yourself” from Amazon. It’s amazing ❤ I have even left a review there, don’t forget to check it. 😊
Nicely composed article and congratulations for the book. 👏👏
Congratulations for the book!! 😃👏👏
Thanks a lot Stacy! That’s so sweet of you ❤
Thanks you Grace!
Thank you Sunaina!