Compassion Creates Happiness for Others and Yourself
Compassion is one thing the world is in short supply of these days. It’s not always easy to feel compassion but it’s needed now more than ever. Compassion comes from your heart. It’s a desire to alleviate someone’s suffering. Compassion expressed as a simple act of kindness will make a big difference in someone’s day—and yours.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” —Dalai Lama
Compassion is vital to our very survival. If we don’t show compassion for one another, we won’t survive as a species. There are numerous benefits to compassion. Compassion is one of the main tools to create happiness in the lives of others and your own. Happiness is not only essential to good health, it also speeds up recovery from physical ailments and disease. It will extend your lifespan.
You can cultivate compassion, help it grow and thrive in your life. Here are some tips to help you be more compassionate every day.
Compassion Creates the Path to a Better World
A person who is compassionate is a good listener, has empathy and acceptance of others, and doesn’t judge. Their lifestyle tends to be harmonious and peaceful. Their emotional well-being is healthy because, among other reasons, giving is usually more pleasurable than receiving.
Compassion is naturally within each of us but it’s a choice whether we show it towards others. It requires mindfulness and a motivation to extend compassion. When we’re compassionate, we make a huge difference in the world. I can’t emphasis enough how compassion is the answer . . . the path to happiness and a better world. Seriously. That’s why you want to develop more compassion and make it a daily practice in your life.
Build Compassion with Daily Acts of Kindness
Research has shown that compassion is a trainable skill. Test subjects involved in extending compassion through meditations showed immediate changes in their brain. OMG, immediate! The meditations activated the compassionate part of their brain. Their ability to perceive suffering and extend help subsequently increased.
It would be so easy to mediate for two minutes each day feeling compassion towards someone or a group of people. That’s what changes you and the world, folks. I can’t think of a better time to start.
You could also practice acts of kindness every day. No matter how small, do something daily to help the suffering of others. Give a homeless person socks, an energy bar and a bottle of water. Run an errand for an elderly neighbor. Really listen to your co-worker who is going through a difficult time. Put out birdseed after it’s snowed. Cook a meal for a family with a newborn. Walk the dog for a recently injured friend. Conserve water and energy to help the planet. Google “list of random acts of kindness” for more ideas.
The joy you receive from helping others in need will motivate you to do more. Before you know it, practicing acts of kindness will be a daily habit that doesn’t require much thought or effort. It’s become a way of life. And an incredibly rewarding one at that.
“Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up.” —Jesse Jackson
A sure-fire way to help you develop compassion is to be around people who have much less materially and bigger problems than you do. Volunteering can put you face-to-face with people who need a boost in life. Volunteer to serve meals at a homeless shelter. Walk dogs and play with cats at a rescue facility. Visit the elderly at a nursing home. Tutor underprivileged children. I guarantee volunteering will expand your heart.
You’re a Soul Learning to Develop Greater Compassion
You’re a soul incarnated in a body on Earth to explore and experience for growth purposes. Remember? You grow leaps and bounds here because of the extreme contrasts between Darkness and Light, younger souls and older evolved souls. Each of us are souls at different stages of development. Everyone is evolving at a different pace and in ways that are perfect for what their soul wants to learn.
You’re learning how to respond more from your heart instead of your mind. You’re here now to reach deeper levels of compassion and love. Whatever or whomever is on your path is deliberately here to help you achieve that.
Can you feel compassion for your relative who continually makes unhealthy choices? Can you feel compassion for others who are different than you in religious beliefs, political views, ethnicity, values? Whoa! Yep, that’s why they’re there, playing their agreed-upon roles, helping you grow. You’re welcome.
It’s helpful to keep in mind we only know what we know. We are doing the best we can with where we are in our stage of soul growth and development. If we could do better, we’d do better. Have compassion for the younger souls who haven’t reached a more advanced stage of development yet.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Life isn’t easy. Everyone deals with hardships and challenges at some point. There’s an insightful quote by Ian MacLaren: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
One of the best ways to develop compassion is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would you feel if you were in their position? How would you want others to act towards you? Expand your perspective and see things from their viewpoint. Better yet, see things from their soul’s viewpoint.
Shift from the it’s-about-me mentality to it’s about them. Change your thinking from how something affects you to how it affects them. It’s a different mindset that will become habitual the more often you do it.
There are dozens of opportunities every day to show compassion and be of service. How can you extend compassion and help others today? Stay balanced and with appropriate boundaries out of self-love. This is not about rescuing others at your own expense. In fact, it’s not about rescuing at all. It’s about opening your heart and helping to alleviate other’s suffering.
It comes back to the Golden Rule, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” You have a choice whether to show compassion towards others. Choosing compassion will bring happiness to your life and those around you. It will create a better world. That’s what you signed up for and one of the reasons why you’re here: making a positive difference in the world . . . one compassionate act at a time.