How Compassion Improves Your Life

3 min Article Meditation & Mindfulness
As I learn to be more compassionate with myself, I've noticed I seek out others all the time for assistance.
How Compassion Improves Your Life

It can be challenging to have compassion for others at times — but it's often most difficult to have compassion for ourselves. A big reason is we don't see self-compassion modeled; our society doesn't look at this as a strength.

We often may feel that we won't become or remain successful if we're not hard on ourselves. While this notion may seem true, it's been debunked by research. Self-compassion is the key to developing the kind of resilience that will make us successful in the long run.

Wondering what else self-compassion can do for you? Here are a few of the benefits:

1. You'll ask for help when needed. 

The kinder we are to ourselves, the more likely we are to ask for help. Getting help isn't a sign of weakness!

As I learn to be more compassionate with myself, I've noticed I seek out others all the time for assistance. It's made me a more well-rounded person because I now understand I don't have to have all the answers, and I have more information because I ask a lot more questions.

2. You'll sleep better. 

A client recently told me she's been beating herself up over something she didn't know at work. It turned out to be a real learning opportunity, but instead of looking at it that way, she kept saying to herself, "I'm an idiot. I'm such a loser. Why didn't I know this?" She lost a night's sleep over it and became so stressed she couldn't give her full attention to anything after that.

Combining self-compassion with mindfulness allows us to be present with what is. We do not deny what happened — we refrain from attaching the experience to the essence of our being.

3. You'll forgive yourself faster. 

It isn't easy to forgive ourselves for past transgressions, but it's a necessary step to learn from a mistake and move on. One way or another, you're going to have to show yourself kindness before the path to healing can truly begin. The sooner you can do that, the sooner you'll find your way to forgiveness.

4. You'll build your resilience. 

People often try to improve their self-esteem by puffing themselves up and telling themselves that they're great. That's not as useful as self-compassion, and it's not sustainable because when we fail or have a setback, which we invariably will, we rob ourselves of resources that provide opportunities for improvement.

If we're kind to ourselves, we can deal with these setbacks and not feel like they're shattering this image of ourselves that we've built up — and we can take risks without fear of failure because we know failure does not define us.

Try this class, Find Calm and Clarity, by meditation teacher Patwant Rhodes to sink into a practice that feels like a comforting balm, connecting you to the wisdom that lies within.

Header photo: Jasmina007/E+/Getty Images

About the Teacher

Tracy Fink

Tracy Fink

A challenging relationship with her mother-in-law incentivized Tracy Fink to learn more about meditation after she saw the positive effects it was having on a friend of hers. “I noticed some very subtle changes in how she responded to events that I know had caused her stress and pain in the past,” Tracy says. “She had a different way about her after she had been practicing.” As Tracy learned more, she discovered some of those same benefits for herself. While her mother-in-law didn’t change, the way she saw her did. She was able to bring more compassion to their interactions, improving their relationship — and that was just the beginning. Now a coach, teacher, and speaker who is passionate about showing people how to become “unstuck” and flourish in their environments, Tracy is the founder of The Tortoise Institute, which offers leadership development workshops, one-on-one coaching, and meditation training in corporate, community, and individual settings. Previously, Tracy was the director of marketing and of the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF), an inclusive business development program she conceived and executed nationwide at CohnReznick LLP, an advisory, assurance, and tax services firm. She is a frequent speaker on topics such as the business case for mindfulness, self-care methods, and self-compassion as a strategy for resiliency. Tracy thrives on the love of her family and friends, adventurous travel, collaborative cooking, and college football.
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