Why compassion is as good as passion

It’s not all hearts and flowers, a hug works for free!

Have you ever beaten yourself up for something that was really trivial? We are so good at jumping to the defense of a good friend or sticking up for a colleague, yet when it comes to our own performance we’d rather say how stupid we are and criticise ourselves for the smallest thing. Some days we’ve created a whole soap opera episode about how we’re rubbish, worthless and we’re never going to get out of this rut. STOP!

What if we spoke to ourselves the way we would a friend, a neighbour, a relative with kindness, warmth and respect? Give yourself a hug, not a smack in the face and you and those around you will be so much better off.

5 ways to bring some compassion into your life

  1. Think about what your purpose is, what motivates you, drives you and excites you. Bring more of this into your life. Whether it’s writing, playing sport or doing something for your community. Make a pact with yourself to find your purpose.

  2. Find ways you can do things for other people, it doesn’t need to cost anything, shopping for a neighbour, babysitting for a new mum, walking someone’s dog. You improve your health and outlook by helping other people.

  3. Be aware of how you react in situations Do you immediately start to take the blame if something goes wrong, take it out on yourself? Breathe into it and work out how you feel. Acknowledge the emotion and think of people you know and how they would react.

  4. Surround yourself with people who are compassionate and model yourself on them, soak up whatever magic that they give off. Absorb yourself in positive material and content that brings about feelings of joy and positivity. Feel inspired.

  5. Practising mindfulness and meditation can bring about feelings of compassion and kindness. Particularly loving kindness meditations can increase levels of satisfaction with self and positivity towards yourself and others.

Whether it's social connection brought about doing something for a group of people or individuals, focusing on other people can prevent us from being kept in the I am, or in a lot of cases, I am not. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves as we’re doing busy making someone else feel good. Everyone benefits!

Compassion is also good for our health, helping with anxiety, depression, self esteem and learning to trust and be more co-operate.

Is there a place in the workplace for compassion? Absolutely! Imagine teams of people who made a conscious effort to be more empathetic to their colleagues and customers? Who thought twice before belittling someone or throwing a tantrum. Wouldn’t it be a better place to work? More productive and a better culture. Many companies today are considering this as part of emotional intelligence.

If you feel overwhelmed and are being extra hard on yourself, you can follow the RAIN technique and mindfulness exercise, which will stop you in your tracks before you beat yourself up.

If you’re racking your brains about what to buy for Valentines Day then just do something nice instead, it’s the thought that counts!

Until you have real compassion, you can not recognise love
— Bob Thurman
Louise Hallam