Are you a criticizer or a compassionate observer?

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Compassion. A popular word nowadays especially in the coaching field. What is it exactly, what can it add to our lives and how can we help ourselves be more compassionate? Towards ourselves? And towards others?

Compassion is a natural feeling of empathy coming from a desire that an individual, a group of people, or even animals do not suffer from emotional or physical discomfort. It is an emotion that opens our hearts and comforts those that we are emphatic about. And this could include people that wronged us. Compassion comes from a place of wisdom that everything is related to everything else. It makes us feel connected. It can fuel us into helpful action. And, even better, it can help us limit (self) criticism and be kinder. It can up our self-worth and make us feel healthier, happier and more effective.

So, how can we “ignite” compassion?
As compassion is a natural emotion, we do not have to force it. Just opening up to difficulty, struggle, stress or sorrow in ourselves or other persons, allowing ourselves to be moved, is enough to feel more compassionate. Other ways of accessing it is being kind, changing our critical self-talk, accepting that making mistakes is human, all help to tone down our perhaps initial rigid response. The pay-offs: being more emotionally resilient, feeling freed from limiting beliefs, feeling less stressed, having more self-esteem and having more joy in our life.
Worth a try, don’t you think?

 

PS: Interested in learning more? A great book in this context is “Self Compassion” by Kristin Neff PhD