“Love & compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive” Dalai Lama
Compassion is as vital for survival and sustainable living to the human race as water or breathing. It is also a natural instinct that can be found in all of us. It is different from love or empathy, although it does actively express these qualities. Compassion is the practice of being aware to the suffering of ourselves and others and responding – from the heart – with a desire to alleviate this suffering. It asks for nothing back in return and yet the benefits are immeasurable. It is one of the most powerful forces in the world and builds stronger, happier communities. It sounds great right? Annnnnnd it sounds like we all should be doing it without a second thought. Well yes, but in reality, it can be difficult to respond to a situation compassionately and it can be even harder to be compassionate to ourselves. There are many blockers to responding compassionately – things like stress, anger, fear, resentment (just to name a few). We are currently in a situation which heightens these blockers, so today’s blog focuses on the importance of compassion in COVID-19.
The OutdoorCure Guide to Compassion in the Time of COVID-19.
1) It improves the wellbeing of everyone in a community – whether this be your local area or your workplace, acts of compassion give everyone a positive boost.
2) It can reduce anxiety and depression by giving a different focus – whether that focus is being kind to yourself on a ‘bad’ day or taking the focus away from ourselves.
3) It spreads and is sustainable. A study in the US showed that acts of compassion and kindness have a chain reaction.
4) It boosts the body’s immune response. Pace et al. (2009) found that participants who had been doing compassionate meditation had stronger immune responses to a stressor.
5) It is easy to judge others in these times – the choices they make or things they do. Compassion helps us to let go of judgement which in turn leads to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
6) Compassion is a great motivator for action. It brings possibility and hope with it so whether in the workplace or by practicing self compassion there is more possibility for change.
7) Compassion helps us to grow. It enlarges your perspective and identity as you are able to look at humankind as a whole and not just from a single perspective. This in turn can help us to think differently, more creatively and with a growth mindset.
We hope this inspires you to think about the power of compassion right now!
The OutdoorCure Team x