Compassion Series - Why Loving Yourself is a Benefit to Others
Many people believe that self-compassion is selfish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Showing loving-kindness has many benefits. If someone goes home to a spouse and family after a long day of giving and giving without receiving or refueling their own gas tank somehow and in some way, they have nothing left to give. Their tank is on empty. What happens when a car runs out of gas? It cannot get you where you want and need to go. It is depleted of energy.
Throughout the day, it is important to take small breaks, go for a walk during lunch time, get up and stretch. Have a friendly chat with a co-worker during break, stay hydrated, eat healthy snacks that fuel you up. Take a moment to breathe, just one moment. Work will still be there and, yes, tomorrow will be another day.
On your way home from work, do not focus on all that went wrong, how you cannot wait to tell your spouse and family how awful your day was. Listen to uplifting music, an inspirational story, or even pop in a cd of your favorite songs which bring back memories of happier times. Research shows listening to uplifting music has the power and ability to reset your mood. These may seem like insignificant acts, but in truth, they are truly showing yourself self-compassion.
If you need a few minutes to yourself when you get home from work, do not be afraid to ask for it and express it. Later, in the evening, give your spouse a break and give them a few minutes of alone time, as well. You will both come together more eager to share and be with one another.
How Self-Compassion Changes the Lives of Others
We have all seen the character of Eeyore in the Winnie the Pooh Cartoon. While everyone loves the sad, mopey character and takes time and effort to include him in things, it can be draining. Being around others who are completely drained brings our energy down and vice versa.
Practicing self-compassion gives us a recharge. When we are calm and have an inner peace about us, we impact everyone around us. Have you ever bumped into a cashier, bank teller, or co-worker (just as an example) who was in a sour mood? Even though that sour mood had nothing to do with us, we still took on that energy. We even went so far as to matching that negative energy with theirs.
Taking a pause, and asking that person if they are okay, if something is troubling them, if they need a friendly ear for a few minutes after work can make the difference between a problem escalating and their situation worsening. Additionally, if you live your life with the practice (and it is a practice) of self-compassion when things go awry as they do, you are a role model for others.
Practicing self-compassion highlights there is a different way to reacting to situations when they go awry. Imagine the contribution you will be and the role model of compassion you will exude when you take life’s ups and downs with an air of compassion. This gives everyone else you encounter an invitation to do the same. It has the possibility to change lives.