Do you know that if you want other people to be happy, show compassion. Additionally, if you want to be happy, practice compassion. That’s the message from Dalai Lama. In the message, Dalai Lama argues compassion helps one cultivate inner peace and self-examination as a way of integrating a clear conscience that trains the mind on being compassionate. Ethics is not based on an external set of rules but rather as inner insight, arising from a critical reflection and self-criticism.
Dalai Lama’s Take on Compassion
According to his teachings, compassion is interpreted from a two-pronged approach to convert empathy into love and compassion. It all starts with building a realistic and authentic blocks of sustainable happiness both socially and individually. Under the first approach, there is a moral limit in what one should or shouldn’t do. Secondly, he focuses on the counter-force; what we all must do. The implication highlights the need to protect self from factors that hinder compassionate acts while developing those that nurture it.
Undertaking compassionate acts is ideal for extending happiness to others. It is greatly encouraged. When was the last you held a helpful conversation with a person in distress? You can also offer to spend time with a friend in need sipping coffee. The point is, kind gestures go a long way to spreading love and building your self-esteem.
Can Money Buy Compassion ?
It is often said that money cannot buy happiness. But what about compassion? Surely money can buy compassion, right?
In fact, money cannot buy compassion. Compassion comes from the heart, and no amount of money can change that.
So why do we often think that money can buy compassion?
Well, money can buy things that make us feel good. For example, we can use money to buy food for the homeless or clothes for the needy. These acts of charity make us feel compassionate.
But compassion is more than just feeling good. Compassion is about connecting with others on a deeper level. It’s about seeing the humanity in others and wanting to help them, even if we don’t know them personally.
And money cannot buy that. money cannot buy compassion because compassion is something that comes from within. It’s a choice to see the good in others and to help them, even when it’s not easy or convenient.
Compassion is about love. And money cannot buy love.
So the next time you’re feeling down about your bank balance, remember that money cannot buy compassion. And that’s a good thing. Because compassion is priceless.
What does compassion do to the brain?
A scientific study indicated that when we help a person out of sincere genuine for their well-being, our endorphin levels rise. Euphoric feelings are associated with endorphin hormones, and once they surge, it leads to what is commonly known as ‘helper’s high’. The warmth generated from our acts of compassion helps in the release of oxytocin – a hormone also released by lactating mothers – associated with bonding traits and reduced inflammation levels in the cardiovascular system. Such an outcome helps prevent the occurrence of heart problems.
Compassion is linked with several benefits for both the giver and receiver of compassion. When we feel compassion for others, our brains release oxytocin— sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone.” Oxytocin is associated with happiness, stress relief, and even pain relief. So not only does compassion make others feel good, but it can also make us feel good too.
Consequently, when you’re feeling good, you’re most likely to engage in activities that feed into the positive vibes. Self-confident people are less likely to engage in destructive activities such as substance abuse or sexual recklessness. An act of kindness sends you not only on a path of self-esteem but also a fulfilling, and happier life.
In addition to the release of oxytocin, compassion has also been linked with the activation of the brain’s reward system. In one study, researchers used fMRI to scan the brains of people instructed to imagine either receiving compassion or seeing someone else receive compassion. The results showed that compassion activated the brain’s reward system in a similar way as other pleasurable activities such as sex, eating, and drugs.
So, compassion not only feels good, but it also lights up the same parts of the brain as other activities that we enjoy. What’s not to love about compassion?
If interested in learning more about compassion and how to practice it; several great resources remain available. The Compassionate Mind Foundation offers an online compassion training program, and the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values has a compassion education program for K-12 students.
Compassion and self-esteem
Compassion and healthy self-esteem go hand-in-hand. A lot of times, we can be our own worst critics and put ourselves down for things that we perceive as flaws. However, when we learn to compassionately accept ourselves as we are, warts and all, our self-esteem improves.
Likewise, compassion for others is linked with increased happiness. When we feel compassion for others, we are less likely to focus on our problems and instead see the world in a more positive light. In addition, compassion is contagious— when we see someone being compassionate, it inspires us to be more compassionate ourselves.
Help Others to Help Self
Numerous scientific studies indicate that engaging in compassionate acts led to a simultaneous gain in happiness and self-esteem and a marginal decrease in mental depression. Overall, if you practice compassion, you’re most likely to experience a significant well-being increase. Looking at the impact of mental health in modern times, compassion is an unexplored positive influence. It validates the strength of compassion in human interactions.
How to Practice Self Compassion ?
The essential elements to practicing Compassion are
1. Be kind to self
Developing self-understanding means you’re less critical of your shortcomings. Furthermore, it means you’re open to changing to ways that make you happy and healthy. Such innate care forms a foundation for practicing compassion for others.
2. A shared sense of humanity
Suffering and inadequacy happen even to the most compassionate of us. That’s a shared human experience and acknowledging people in need of compassion face life like the rest of us opens the floodgates to happiness and confidence in our capacity to offer reprieve to such individuals. Just because I’m not facing similar adversity as the person next door neither makes me perfect nor privileged.
It simply means always being aware of your thoughts and feelings at all times. Kindly always be mindful of the consequences of your actions to the recipients.
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.Proverbs 17:28
Everyone Deserves Compassion
One of the great things about compassion is that it doesn’t require any special skills or talents, only the willingness to open your heart and mind to someone else’s pain or suffering. And when you do, you may be surprised at how good it feels. Research has shown that compassion has a number of benefits for both mental and physical health.
What is Compassion Fatigue?
Compassion fatigue is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that can occur when you care for someone who is suffering. It’s often seen in people who work in the helping professions, such as nurses, doctors, social workers, and counselors.
Compassion fatigue is different from burnout. Burnout is characterized by feelings of cynicism and detachment. With compassion fatigue, you may still feel empathy for others, but you might also feel angry, hopeless, or numb.
Compassion fatigue can lead to a number of problems, such as:
- Poorer work performance
- Substance abuse
If you think you might be suffering from compassion fatigue, it’s important to seek help. There are a number of resources available to people in the helping professions, such as counseling and support groups.
So why not give compassion a try? The next time you see someone in pain or suffering, instead of looking away, offer a word of comfort or a helping hand. You might just find that compassion is good for your soul as well as your body. And who knows, you might even make the world a little bit better in the process. Thanks for reading! compassion, self-esteem, happiness, mental health, physical health, soul, and body. Try compassion!