You may think that being compassionate is something you are born with, but in reality, it is something that can be learned throughout life. You too can be a more compassionate person for yourself and others. Compassion involves having the ability to feel empathy for others. This ability to understand the suffering of other people is an important component that motivates prosocial behaviors or the desire to help.
Don’t confuse compassion with empathy
It is necessary to bear in mind that compression involves much more than empathy. It helps people to feel what others feel, but they also feel the need to help them to alleviate their suffering.
Adults can learn to be more compassionate and also teach compassion to others to enhance altruistic behavior and bring about changes in the brain and socially.
Compassionate meditation is a form of meditation that is used to increase feelings of concern for people who are suffering. While meditating, imagine a time when someone is suffering and then imagine how you could do to alleviate the suffering of that imaginary person.
It is also important to learn compassion, to be compassionate with different types of people, starting with someone for whom you can easily feel compassion such as a family member or a close friend. Then you should practice feeling compassion for a stranger or a person with whom you have had a conflict.
In addition to this, reframing one’s thoughts to feel less negative towards oneself or towards the environment is important as well. Habits can be changed over a period of time with a little bit of out-of-will each day.
Train your compassion
Compassion helps people to be more altruistic and that is why you can train yourself to do so. What if you try to spend your money doing something to help someone else in need? How to buy food for someone who does not have to buy …
Compassionate people will be more likely to do this by, for example, buying food for food drives than those who are not. They are altruistic people, but you can also learn to be, doing it, even if at first it seems that it is difficult to do the action.
You can change your brain with compassion
Compassion meditation and training to be more compassionate with altruistic actions can change brain activity. Altruistic people have increased brain activity in the lower parietal cortex, an area of the brain associated with empathy and understanding for other people. Other brain regions associated with positive emotions and emotional regulation also have an increase in activity.
Compassion is a skill that can be improved with practice. People can be helped to build compassion, thus transforming the lives of many. Healthy adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this training. Teaching children and adults compassion can help reduce bullying and help those struggling with social problems.
The importance of teaching compassion
Why is it important to know that compassion can be learned, even in adults? Because compassion is a central component of many prosocial behaviors, including altruism and heroism. Before taking steps to help another person, it is important that we not only understand the other person’s situation, but also feel the urge to alleviate their suffering … from within.
Compassion involves three keys:
- Feel the problems of another
- Believe that these problems are not self-inflicted
- They can imagine themselves in a similar situation facing the same problem
Compassion is essential for us to develop as a society! We are social beings and we need each other to evolve.