Embracing compassion in everyday life 

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it’s easy to get lost in routines and responsibilities. Amidst the chaos and monotony, however, lies an important truth: practicing compassion every day can have a profound impact on our lives. Compassion is an essential part of what makes us human and can transform our overall well-being and the world around us.  

This week, we came together and learned about compassion in celebration of Mental Health Week. But a week is just the beginning! Here’s why we should all continue to practice compassion and embrace it as part of our lives. 

Cultivate positive mental health and well-being 

Research shows that being compassionate makes us feel happier and positively impacts our well-being by fostering feelings of meaning and purposei. We can all remember a time when we volunteered, helped a loved one, or donated and how fulfilling it felt. Caring for others allows us to look outside ourselves and broaden our perspectiveii

Nurture social connections 

We know that as humans, we are social creatures born with an innate need for connection – especially in times of distressiii. Having strong social connections is so important for our mental health and well-being and research demonstrates that showing compassion strengthens our connectionsiv. When facing stressful times, it’s amazing how comforting and powerful it is to know that we’re not alone. 

Lower levels of anxiety and depression 

One of the most consistent findings in research is that self-compassion is linked to lower levels of anxiety and depressionv. When faced with a difficult situation, we can show ourselves self-compassion by being warm, kind, and understanding that we all experience challenges. Rather than ruminating on mistakes, self-compassion can help protect us from emotional distress and increase our resiliencevi.  

Inspire positive change 

Compassion is also one of the keys to creating a kinder, more empathetic society. That’s because compassion is contagiousvii. When we take time out of our day to show someone compassion, it feels good to both the giver and the receiver and motivates others to pay it forward. Compassion creates a remarkable ripple effect that can touch many.  
Navigating the everyday ebbs and flows of life can be stressful and overwhelming. Yet, when we show ourselves and those around us compassion, we all experience undeniable mental health benefits. With time, the impacts of compassion ripple to make the world a better, more equitable place. 

i Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body (berkeley.edu) 
ii Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body (berkeley.edu) 
iii Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body (berkeley.edu) 
iv Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body (berkeley.edu) 
v Microsoft Word – Mindfulness and SC chapter in press.docx (self-compassion.org) 
vi Microsoft Word – Mindfulness and SC chapter in press.docx (self-compassion.org) 
vii What Are the Benefits of Compassion? | Psychology Today