The benefits of compassion

Compassion is as vital to life as the air we breathe.

When practiced, compassion brings unlimited benefits to both provider and recipient. Pessimists view our world as one without much compassion, while those with a positive outlook on life cite the remarkable human beings whose compassionate qualities have created long lasting impacts on society. Such examples include Mother Teresa, St Francis of Assisi, Nelson Mandela and many others.

To start with, self-compassion is a prerequisite to any other form of compassion. Dwelling into self-judgment, criticism and regrets help maintain or fuel stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and even depression. Self-kindness triggers acceptance of imperfection and self-love. It is conducive to positive connections with others. Establishing such connections requires the ability to identify with human beings, expressing care, concern and empathy.

Compassion and happiness are closely linked, as many recent research studies indicate. By creating positive social relationships, the expression of gratitude strengthens the human bond and increases happiness among both adults and children. The state of wellbeing is enhanced and that of stress and anxiety is diminished.

In the medical field, those patients who report clinical empathy from the service providers feel more held and supported, more comforted, which in turn results in the ability of the practitioners to feel the emotional reciprocity, allowing them to better look after their patients.

Patients experience better outcomes when they are treated with compassion

Additionally, compassion-centric therapy has been shown to relieve those individuals with a high level of self-criticism and victim mindset.

The quality of the relationship between parents and educators dealing with children is another example of mutual benefits when led by compassion and empathy, away from harsh discipline and judgment.

The same applies to the workplace, where compassionate leaders and managers witness more effective and productive employees and workers, which eventually positively impact the organization’s bottom line.

The benefits of compassion can be experienced in all aspect of our life. Understanding and relieving the sufferings in our life and that of others is a heart-based human instinct we all have. This has become more blurred in modern times and our material-oriented lifestyle.

However, across many geographies, individuals and organizations continue to work tirelessly to resurrect human solidarity through compassion.  

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

Philippe is a meditation instructor and wellness coach. They are writing in a personal capacity.

Translate »