Remember gratitude and learn something about compassion – perfect for Christmas time – in Talu’s article about Compassion.
Last month we looked at gratitude, so before I share about compassion I wanted to check in and see how you got on with the gratitude awareness blog, with how we can be more grateful, every month and ultimately every day and not wait for Thanksgiving to remind us on gratitude.
I mentioned some simple practices that you can establish into daily habits:
- starting your day with 3 things you are grateful for
- writing a gratitude letter
- creating a gratitude tree
Please share your feedback I would love to hear how this has impacted your month and what changes you have noticed? Thank you in advance for taking the time to send your feedback.
I’m so excited to talk about compassion with you all, not only because it’s just before Christmas but also, as it’s coming to the end of the year and it’s an ideal time to reflect, review and create compassionate intentions for yourself and others.
In this blog I will look at what it means to be compassionate in the truest sense. Examples of compassion and how to practice this in your everyday life & to some ideas how to add some to your Christmas 🙂
So what does compassion mean?
a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering
What comes to mind when you hear that description?
We can interpret this as, compassion meaning caring about others, treating them with kindness and feeling a strong desire to help people in need.
But, what is compassion, really?
True compassion goes beyond the understanding of another person’s suffering. Meaning when you feel compassion for someone, you don’t just stand by and watch them suffer. You would take action to try and stop the pain or help ease the suffering. The Latin word compassion literally means to “suffer together” or “co-suffering.” Interesting, isn’t it? A clear example could be seen in a mother, immediately reacting to her child if they have fallen down, hurt themselves or are feeling unwell. You know that feeling right?
Compassion is in effect empathy in action.
Examples of compassion:
Some signs of showing compassion might simply look like giving a hug or saying something kind to help a friend or family member who is feeling sad or upset. You most probably perform small acts of compassion without even realising it 🙂
- opening the door for someone when their arms are full
- giving to a homeless person
- donating to charity shops
- helping elderly carry their shopping
- taking the time to check in with someone not well
Compassion can come in so many different forms, as well as different levels. Being compassionate is genuinely showing selflessness through actions to help others.
How to practice compassion daily
Research suggests, that compassion is a skill that can be learned and strengthened. By learning how to increase compassion, people can build deeper, more meaningful connections with others that will inspire good helpful actions and simple human kindness.
Keep it simple and use the 3 point reminders:
1. Start with compassion for yourself
Compassion begins with being kind to yourself too. By making time for yourself, being aware and accepting of who you are. Being patient with yourself and not letting past mistakes control the now. Importantly also forgiving yourself so you can move forward with a positive outlook.
2. Carry compassion for others
Cultivate your compassion simply by the thought of “carrying compassion for others, …” Just like you, everyone else is dealing with some form of a challenge, big or small.
Just like you, others want to be happy and free of suffering.
Keep this in mind as you meet friends and strangers alike. Maintaining a broad view can enable you to rise above small disagreements & break down any barriers to seize opportunities to help others in any circumstance.
3. Being in the present moment
Focusing on the now, will help you to be in the moment and not judge yourself and others. Remembering not having all the answers all the time doesn’t mean you can’t be useful to others that are hurting. Being yourself and taking the time to be with them, by giving your presence can be more powerful than you think! The action of physically being with someone when they’re hurting can make all the difference in the world.
How to bring compassion to your Christmas
With the season of giving approaching, here are some ideas on how to bring compassion to your Christmas:
- Give the gift of your time and attention to loved ones
- Bring gratitude in your Christmas cards, by sharing one reason why you are grateful
- Give the gift of forgiveness to someone and wish them well from your heart
- Spend time reflecting on this past year and what worked well and what was challenging, let your growth guide you!
The benefits of compassion
We have all experienced compassion in one way or another and individually felt the power of it, wouldn’t you say?
Many studies have found, that kindness, compassion and giving contribute to a list of benefits, such as:
- improving our happiness
- good mental health
- a stronger immune system
- reduced anxiety, stress and depression
- improved relationships
- a longer life
Learning how to view your life and other’s lives through a compassionate lens can be transformative. Compassion is much more than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s about developing the ability to understand the emotional state of others and of yourself.
Remember every little act counts and each act will eventually turn that practice into a habit!
The Dalai Lama shares one of his practice of compassion:
“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion.”
Being kinder and compassionate to yourself and others whilst focusing on enjoying this season of holiday spirit, I would like to wish you a wonderful, warm and cosy holidays.
My happiest regards,
Get connected with Talu, Global Happiness Coach, True Awareness Coaching