Dr. Layne McDonald
We live in such a busy world. You hear about either being more, doing more, or buying more. With everyone in the family either going to school or working, “busy” is the new normal. Self-care falls by the wayside; spending time with others is minimal at best, and worst of all, compassion becomes a luxury, not a necessity.
The Benefits of Compassion
Compassion boosts your health and well-being. There are many benefits to taking on being compassionate both for yourself and, equally as necessary, for others:
- You feel good about yourself.
- You exude more confidence.
- You have a softer, gentler, kinder demeanor.
- You attract more positive people, situations, and experiences in your life.
- Your health improvement brings more energy, better sleep, and life experiences.
- You are a contribution to others when you show compassion.
- You let them know they are not alone.
- Other people reap the rewards of feeling related, understood, and full of hope.
- Others who are equally kind and compassionate will draw near to you.
- You become a role model for others on how to treat themselves.
- You become a role model for others on how to improve their relationships.
- You create a ripple of compassion that positively affects many people.
How Being More Compassionate Changes Your Life
You are Compassionate to yourself as a new way of improving many areas of your life. When you are compassionate to yourself, you reap the benefits and the rewards.
Self-Compassion allows you to care for your own needs by being kind and gentle to yourself when you fall short. As humans, we all fall short; sometimes, we do not reach our goal, and sometimes the actions of others impact us negatively. We make mistakes, forget things, lose our cool, and overreact. We are human. Understanding that we are human allows us to be kind and compassionate and ask ourselves what we learned from experience.
Being compassionate to ourselves is a better use of energy. Imagine the time and trouble it takes to feed a negative mindset in reaction to a mistake. We can, instead, take time to self-soothe. Self-soothing is shown to have many benefits. We can move forward more quickly rather than ruminating on our mistakes. We can learn and grow and keep moving forward – the actual definition of life.
More importantly, we train others to do the same when we show compassion. If we beat ourselves up, we permit others to do the same. We also model how we expect others to treat us when we show mercy.
The Impact of Compassion on Your Relationships
While we are all interested in changing and improving our lives for the better, what about the impact compassion has on our relationships? Navigating through life means taking responsibility for our actions; however, we also navigate many relationships within families, work, and society.
Showing compassion allows us to make a difference in someone else’s life. People need to know that we understand and are there for them. Loving and supporting others is the catalyst for helping them through the rough patches of life. What is better than being a contributing factor to changing the direction of someone else’s life? Now that is powerful!
When we offer compassion to others, we feel good about ourselves and make a difference to them. It is a win/win situation.