Compassion is such a powerful and healing force. One might even say that it is next to godliness because it makes no distinction or judgements about ethnicity, race, social class, age or gender; it accepts all. We all deserve some compassion, and we all need to practice showing it as well, because a society can’t function properly without it.

What are the Benefits of Being Compassionate?

1. Compassion helps you to accept the differences in others and build stronger relationships.
2. Compassion helps you to be more open-minded while enlarging your perception of the world.
3. Compassion improves the quality of your life by giving you a sense of fulfillment and making you happier.
4. As you seek to relieve suffering through compassion, you learn to understand yourself better as well as the people around you.
5. Compassion is contagious because it inspires the people around you to act with kindness.
6. Compassion boosts health and longevity.
7. Self-compassion neutralizes the negative effects of stress.
8. Compassion helps you to incorporate important lessons learned in life from other people.

How to be More Compassionate

1. Practice self-compassion 

If you are an individual who tends to be too hard on yourself, then you need to practice self-compassion. That harsh inner critic that judges you every single time you make a mistake is not very helpful. We are imperfect beings, so making mistakes is part of our human nature. If we can’t realize that about ourselves, it will be difficult to be compassionate when other people reveal their humanness.

Accepting and acknowledging your humanness would be a good place to start. Forgive yourself, let yourself off the hook and be there for yourself. Meditation can also be very beneficial because it helps you to be more aware of yourself. It is only when you are able to accept your own flaws, forgive yourself, and show yourself some kindness, that you will be able to truly do that for others.

2. Separate the deed from the doer

How do you practice compassion when someone has hurt you or broken your trust? Or how do you accept people who have completely different opinions than you do? That can be really difficult at times, but it does not have to be, if you practice this exercise – try to separate the person from their behavior or their action. This does not excuse wrongdoing, but it helps you to be more compassionate and forgiving.

The fact that someone hurt you does not necessarily mean that s/he is a bad person. Or the fact they have opposing mindsets does not mean they are wrong. Instead of judging them and thinking of them as less than, try to be more curious about them as human beings. Why did she react this way? Is he going through something I don’t know about? Is he having these beliefs because of the traumatizing experiences he went through in the past? This will help you see people differently, and act more compassionately.

3. Put yourself in their shoes

This is one of the most powerful lessons learned in life that can help you to be more compassionate towards others. But what does it really mean to put yourself in other people’s shoes? This means that you should try to see things through their own perspectives. It is not about agreeing with the other person (though it could happen), it is about understanding their reasons or motivations for acting in a particular way. It is about asking yourself if you would have acted in the same way; if you were put in the same situation, and had been raised in a similar fashion, or have had similar life experiences.

How can you do this? Learn to listen more than you speak. Don’t just listen with the intent to reply, do it to understand the person first. Another tip is to remind yourself that everyone is facing challenges even though it might not always seem like that is the case.

Practicing these valuable lessons learned in life will help you to be more accepting; and therefore, more compassionate towards other people as well as yourself. It is never too late to make a positive shift in the right direction.

Categories: Learning

27 Comments

Adaego M. Azi · July 28, 2020 at 10:28 pm

duppydomTEAM – I like the idea of compassion being next to godliness. For me, compassion is really about being understanding and kind to people – something all of us can easily do if we set our mind to it. I like the benefits of compassion and had never heard before that compassion is good for your health – cool. I would have to agree that compassion is a powerful and healing force. Thank you.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Adaego, we appreciate your comments. Two of the ideals of compassion are not only being able to empathize with the sufferings of others but feeling compelled to abate that suffering. This is where the idea of compassion being next to Godliness comes from. God felt so compassionate toward his earthly children that he gave his one and only Son to save the world through Him (edited from John 3:16). There is quite a lot of ongoing research investigating the health benefits of compassion 🩺 I am assuming you read the (Seppälä, 2012) article; where she discussed research showing that people who live a life of purpose and meaning (due to being compassionate toward others 💖) had low inflammation levels (correlated with many diseases including cancer).

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:47 am

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Amara Kone · July 29, 2020 at 5:27 am

I really like the section on self-compassion. I am one of those people who is too hard on myself.
“It is only when you are able to accept your own flaws, forgive yourself, and show yourself some kindness, that you will be able to truly do that for others” – this makes perfect sense – do for yourself so you can do for others. I couldn’t help but notice Stephen Covey’s Habit #5 – definitely part of being compassionate to others.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:39 am

    Amara, thank you very much for your comments. Self-compassion is something a lot of people don’t even think about. In our attempt to be successful in life, we often berate ourselves when things go wrong. We need to be much more empathetic and compassionate to self. Glad you noticed Covey’s Habit #5. When speaking to someone your goal shouldn’t be just to get our logic/point across (logos) 🗣 Instead, first, we should try to fully understand the person, so we can put ourselves in their shoes.

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:48 am

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Bruce Peters · July 29, 2020 at 6:14 am

Interesting title. So, does this mean if I am compassionate, I will be more Godlike (hehe). The first thing I read was “The Best Kept Secret to Happiness and Health: Compassion” article – interesting claims. “Compassion is the key to being happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise” – how exactly does being compassionate make you wealthy? The other claims I can at least understand. I think all of us could be a bit more compassionate and empathetic toward ourselves.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Bruce, thank you for sharing your comments. Yes, exhibiting compassion will make you more Godlike 🤗💖 Those wanting to be compassionate, or who are concerned about compassion, are probably already sympathetic, empathetic, kind, meek, grateful, etc. The logic of compassion making you wealthier is related to the idea of the “law of attraction”: compassionate people’s actions are really sending positivity into the universe, and as a result, positive experiences and connections will return.

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:48 am

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Nadine Wu · July 29, 2020 at 2:58 pm

duppydom – When I think about all the things that are happening in the U.S. right now (particularly Covid-19), I feel we should all be a bit more compassionate toward each other. I think I’m a compassionate person, but I never thought about the benefits of compassion before. The first two benefits talked about in the article are more applicable right now in the U.S. – accepting the differences in others and being more open-minded and encompassing about our world views. Both of these benefits could help with how Americans perceive the Black Lives Matter marches happening right now in the country.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Nadine – we appreciate your insightful comments. I agree with you unreservedly. And not just in the U.S.; compassion would go a long way in just about every country across the planet. We could think of the current problems in the United States as being representative of most of the world’s countries 🌍🌎🌏

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:49 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:49 am

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S. Jakes · July 29, 2020 at 11:23 pm

duppydomTEAM – this is a lovely topic. Even though I am getting better, I do get worked up about some things. Trying not to be so hard on myself, is something I am also working on. Hopefully one day I will be a totally compassionate person, showing self-compassion but also showing compassion to others. I also read the article about compassion leading to happiness, health, wealth and wisdom – I could do with a lot more of all these things. I really enjoyed reading this article. Thank you, duppydomTEAM 👏

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:36 am

    S. Jakes – thank you. Having more self-compassion and being more compassionate to others are two noble life goals 🙏🙌 Likewise, all of humanity could be more compassionate, and it’s nice to know that it comes with benefits – I encourage everyone to read the Seppälä, 2012, article.

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:50 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:50 am

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Amie Warwick · July 30, 2020 at 5:06 am

Hello duppydom – thank you for the information about how to be more compassion – this is information I will pass on to my husband (everyone can be more compassionate). Showing self-compassion makes sense. I like the idea of separating the deed from the doer – this one might be somewhat harder to do. What you are really saying here is that people who do bad things are not always bad people. Putting yourself in people shoes also makes sense. If you are “walking their walk” you will understand them better.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:36 am

    Amie – your comments are greatly appreciated. In terms of the “How to be More Compassionate” section of the article, you are correct on all three counts 👍

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:51 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:52 am

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Lisa Steffler · July 30, 2020 at 2:57 pm

This article is right up my alley. Being empathetic and compassionate is something I strive for every day. I have never heard the saying (?) “Compassion is Next to Godliness” before, but I agree. I can attest to the benefits of compassion. Mostly, compassion makes you aware of how many people around you are suffering, even people who don’t look like there are suffering. The most rewarding part of compassion is that it let’s you sleep at night (with a smile on your face). It really fills your heart with peace and joy, knowing that you make a difference in the world. God bless you, duppydom.

    duppydomTEAM · August 3, 2020 at 4:35 am

    Thank you, Lisa, for being a shining example of what compassion looks like in the flesh. Your comments also allude to the difference between empathy and compassion (a question asked frequently). Compassionate people are not only able to put themselves in other people’s shoes (empathy), but they also feel compelled to help undo their suffering 😧 Please continue making a difference in the world.

      Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:52 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 5, 2020 at 12:53 am

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D’gauntlett · July 31, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Considering the environment we live in today this post is a great reminder. Compassion whether for self or others is definitely something many of us needs to work on. I am often taken aback when I hear the stinging mean-spirited words that some of us throws at those needing our compassion. As stated, if we learn to be compassionate to ourselves, then maybe the plight of others may not seem so repulsive. I have also wondered if the changes in ones life can cause him/her to become hardened and lose their compassionate heart. It’s really hard to tell, but for those who knows the joy of being, and sees the fulfilling results, I say bravo to you. let’s keep going. Great post duppydom team. Thanks for reminding us.

    duppydomTEAM · August 5, 2020 at 5:37 am

    D’gauntlett, thank you very much for your insightful comments. You are definitely right; we need more compassion in today’s world. Too many of us are still concerned only about self; and scoff at the idea of helping others. It’s encouraging to see that during the pandemic, so many others are willing to donate resources and/or their time, to help the less fortunate. Perhaps seeing the worldwide suffering (like never before) will be the impetus for some to get less hardened and gain a more compassionate heart. Likewise, a cheerful namaste to those who do compassionate work, simply because it brings them joy 😊

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