This quote by the Dalai Lama is now supported by scientific research which clearly shows that Being Compassionate is good for others and also very very good for ourselves. Well, we always knew that being compassionate was good for others but good for ourselves?
Yes, a growing body of scientific research shows that self-kindness has an immense positive impact on an individual’s mental and physical health. It greatly enhances emotional well-being, boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your diet and exercise routine.
Research also shows that Compassion is a skill that can be cultivated…
Compassion is a response to witnessing suffering, a desire to alleviate it which lives in all of us, it is our deepest nature. We know this as children yet learn to ignore it as we grow up.
Not only do we learn to not see / ignore our own and others’ suffering but we often respond harshly and judgmentally believing to do otherwise is self indulgent. Many of us would never dream of treating or speaking to another as harshly and critically as we treat ourselves.
Compassion, both to our self and others is actually an act of bravery that stands up to harm—the harm that we cause ourselves and others every day by overreacting, overanalysing, overworking, overeating. Mindfulness & Compassion Training enable us to recognise when we’re under stress and face what’s happening in our lives and to take a kinder and more balanced approach to life’s challenges.
How can I develop a more compassionate attitude towards myself and others?
Mindfulness and Compassion training enable us to make a space between event and reaction, and within that space, choose how to react. Rather than continually judging and evaluating ourselves and others, compassion enables us to be kinder and more accepting of people as imperfect human beings, learning to be present with the inevitable struggles of life with greater ease. It motivates and supports us in making needed changes in our lives because we care about ourselves/others and want to lessen suffering. Practice builds the habit of responding with kindness and understanding rather than criticism and judgement.
This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness at Work.