Compassion is essential for a positive and meaningful life. Compassion in life means caring for others and showing it to yourself is also fundamental for your own mental health and self-care.
Introducing more compassion into your life could stem from an active need to do better in life and help others, such as through your job or voluntary work, or it could simply be a need to show yourself more love and respect.
Here are some ideas that you can introduce more compassion and care into your life to benefit yourself and the health of those around you.
1. Be Respectful to Yourself
Even those people who are immeasurably kind to others and act selflessly can serve to neglect themselves. It’s too easy to be overly self-critical, and extremely easy to neglect your own well-being when you are busy trying to help others and spare time for others in need.
Try to focus on the positives in your own life. If you are critical about your own self-image, introduce healthy practices where you remind yourself of the things you love about yourself and what you should be grateful for. A gratitude journal or daily mantras may help with this.
If you find that you put too much pressure on yourself, whether at work or with personal endeavours, take a step back and take pride in what you have worked to achieve rather than being negative towards yourself about never achieving enough.
Always remember to take time for yourself when needed, so you don’t risk burning out trying to help others or people-pleasing too much.
2. Find a Career Which Helps Others
Perhaps being a compassionate person sees you wanting to exemplify this by pursuing a career which allows you to fully care for other people. There are plenty of career opportunities ready for a compassionate individual, which will be rewarding for anyone wishing to work actively to improve the lives of others.
The healthcare setting is the most obvious example, as you will be working to help others in need, whether with their physical or mental health. If you have relevant nurse practitioner skills, you can make a career out of supporting families and individuals compassionately, for example.
Alternatively, you can still fulfil compassionate roles which don’t see you working on the frontline with people. This could be environmental causes or jobs helping animals, for example.
3. Consider Voluntary Work
Perhaps you don’t want to make a critical career switch, but you would like to make a little extra effort within your spare time to still help others. This is where voluntary work can be gratifying and allow the perfect opportunity to further your compassionate endeavours.
If you want to help others in need, you could enquire regarding voluntary work for good causes such as helping the homeless or mental health charities.
Or choose a cause which is close to your heart, such as animal rescue or environmental causes. Anything which will serve to help.
If you don’t have time enough for substantial voluntary work, there are many other ways you can help charities, such as decluttering and donating your unwanted items.
4. Practice Kindness Whenever You Can
Kindness and compassion don’t have to be grand gestures. It can be as simple as holding a door open for someone, giving a smile, listening instead of speaking or buying the perfect gift for someone.
Kindness can be simple, and you can work to improve your active efforts within your everyday routine and with strangers you meet along the way. Furthermore, you should practice kindness towards yourself whenever you can, too.
Buy yourself a treat if you have been working and saving hard, or cook yourself a healthy meal. Looking after your body is the ideal way to say thank you to yourself and care more about your mind and body.
5. Look After the Environment
Showing compassion in life does not necessarily need to be towards other people. Compassion is also crucial when it comes to the earth and the environment. Giving back to the environment is a rewarding and thoughtful practice.
You should think about your recycling habits and making sure that you’re always disposing of materials correctly.
If you’d like to do more to help than your everyday routine, seek out extra practices, like planting a tree, growing flowers, making your own compost or switching to filtered water instead of plastic bottles.
Compassion may take extra planning and time when it comes to new ways to help, but it’s always worth it.
6. Try Not to Judge so Easily
Being compassionate comes from judging less and trying to understand more. There are many different people you will meet in your everyday life, and in many situations, you’ll find yourself in.
It’s very easy to judge other people or situations when you don’t know enough but practicing more positive methods can include taking a step back and thinking more.
Think before you speak, try not to judge quickly, and remember that everyone has their own personal issues which they may not show on the surface.
Therefore, showing compassion can be as simple as letting someone know that you’re not judging them.
Compassion can be embraced through significant life changes or small, everyday routine — or both. Even taking the smallest steps to show more compassion through everyday gestures will make a whole lot of difference.
Being kinder, more compassionate, and more positive is essential for good health and good mental well-being. If you’re finding that you’re going through a negative time or struggling with more negative thoughts, taking small steps to change your way of thinking and being kinder to yourself and the world around you can serve to alter your viewpoint and improve your mood.
Better health isn’t just about a good workout or meal planning. It’s also about taking the right steps to create a more positive lifestyle for yourself, and by being compassionate to others, you can reap the benefits for yourself, too.