Kindness is contagious!
Many of us feel drawn to people who stop what they are doing to help when we are in need. Sometimes these people are close friends and family members. Sometimes, they are individuals who have a love for humanity show compassion for those who are in need.
Compassion is a feeling of sympathy and sadness for another person.
Compassion is a characteristic that motivates us to make changes or to help an individual. There are several benefits to compassion. It is directly linked to positively effecting one’s level of happiness and sense of fulfillment. Part of compassion is being aware of the struggles of others. According to Merriam Webster, the definition of compassion is “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
Sometimes, in a world that is primarily individualistic, it can be difficult to get outside of ourselves and not only see the struggles of others, but also understand those struggles.
Many times a lack of sympathy is due to a lack of mindfulness and awareness to the present struggles of life. It is very easy to go through life mainly thinking about what is required of us and not savoring the moments of life, the success as well as the difficulties. We often numb ourselves to those difficulties because they are painful to experience.
However, when we experience something painful, we are apt to dissociate. We stifle those important feelings and are inauthentic to ourselves. Until we truly understand what suffering is, we will not be able to truly understand compassion.
Practicing mindfulness can greatly help us become more in tune with the present.
That essentially means that we will experience the joys as well as the painfulness that a present moment can bring. Mindfulness can bring a high level of self-awareness. And, it also brings a level of awareness of what others are experiencing.
Written by: Chelsey Beauchamp, LPC