How to Become More Compassionate

Compassion brings both short and long-term happiness. Showing compassion not only
allows you to feel better, but it helps those around you to feel better, too. Since we all
want to be happy, showing compassion can be a common goal for everyone.
Cultivating compassion is a worthwhile goal. It’s a significant part of being human
and can make you more grateful for the many good things you already have in your
life.

How can we be more compassionate?

1. Have good intentions. Each day, simply have the intention of being
compassionate and showing compassion to everyone you encounter. Make it a
part of your morning ritual to remind yourself to be compassionate.

Before you go to sleep at night, reflect on how you were compassionate or
failed to show compassion that day. Remind yourself again to be
compassionate the next day.

2. Focus on the similarities you share with others. Human brains are great at
spotting differences. However, we have to make a conscious effort to spot the
similarities.

When you find yourself feeling less than happy with someone, try to list as
many things as you can that you share in common.

Remember that all humans are similar in the ways that matter. For
example, we all need love, attention, happiness, affection, food, and
shelter.

3. Be empathetic. With everything happening in our lives, it’s easy to focus on
ourselves and ignore the plight of others. Consider the similarities that others
share with your loved ones. Now imagine your loved one is suffering.

If you can see another person as being similar to your loved one, it will
become easy to be sensitive to their suffering.

Keep in mind that another person is someone else’s loved one.
How would you want your loved one to be treated during a challenging
time?

4. Be compassionate with yourself. You might have noticed that the least
compassionate people are those that are the hardest on themselves. If you
won’t give yourself a break when you need it, you’re less likely to do it for
someone else.

Appreciate yourself and the challenges that you’ve experienced in your
own life. You’ll become more capable of doing the same for others, too.
Recognize that time you spend on yourself is time well spent. Refrain from
viewing it as an act of selfishness. You’re just as important as anyone else.
Let go of needing to be perfect. Nobody’s perfect, so it’s a game that can’t
be won. If you’ll stop demanding perfection of yourself, you’ll stop requiring
others to be perfect, too.

5. Be fully present with others. The ultimate kindness is to be 100% present with
someone. It’s also a great time to practice being mindful. Be supportive and a
good listener without thinking any stray thoughts.

It’s not always easy to stay in the moment when someone is hurting, but
you’ll be a better person for it.

6. Remember the times that others have been kind to you. Perhaps you can do
the same favor for someone else.

7. Remember the times that others have been unkind to you. Perhaps you can
spare someone else from feeling the same pain.

Being compassionate is really a gift you give to yourself. When you’re kinder to others,
you learn to be kinder to yourself. You also encourage others to take an interest in
your life and to direct compassion back in your direction.

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