They say you should never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up – and we believe those are truly beautiful words to live by.
Lifting others up begins with showing genuine compassion – a completely non-judgemental emotion that positively impacts the person you’re showing it to.
Many of us strive to show compassion to others, especially those that are in less fortunate situations than ourselves, but we often don’t quite know how.
The good news is, there are plenty of easy ways to be more compassionate – and incredibly, doing so will not only benefit those around you, but it’ll enrich your own life in more ways than one.
Here are 7 simple ways to cultivate compassion in your everyday life.
First up, relax your judgement
From a young age, we’re taught to distinguish right from wrong, and good from bad. By slowly letting go of those limiting labels, we learn to judge others less for their decisions and actions. Trusting that everyone is doing their best is a good way to shed the judgements we carry around with us.
Learn to really listen
When you listen, listen generously. Most of us think we’re good listeners, but we often interrupt the speaker to offer advice or comment. But when you let someone spill themselves out to you, and take in every word, they benefit greatly from being able to process their own emotions and hear the truth in themselves.
Fine tune the art of acceptance
Having your own opinion does not mean having to shut down an opposing one. Accepting the fact that others have different views to yourself allows them to feel heard, and in turn, shows respect for their thoughts and feelings.
Choose empathy over sympathy
Sympathy means taking pity over someone’s situation. Empathy, on the other hand, means being able to understand the other person – and making a real effort to see things from their perspective, which is an incredibly important component of compassion.
It’s natural to get frustrated and impatient when we feel things could be done faster, better, or more effectively. But learning to be patient and stop comparing our own abilities to those of others helps us, and them, feel lighter and happier.
Giving is receiving
When we help someone else, we’re also helping ourselves. Being good to others opens the door for us to receive and experience joy in our own lives.
Pause before you react
Before you express your instant gut reaction, take a moment to pause and think – how will your words impact the other person, and what do they mean for the bigger picture? Often, this way of thinking helps us avoid conflict and hurt.