10 Ways to Show Compassion

16 Feb

It's Day 3 Random Acts of Kindness Week. Today's challenge is to perform three acts of compassion.

They say compassion is empathy in action. To be compassionate means to:

▶ Recognize when someone is suffering and to take action to help.

▶ Be kinder and gentler with yourself/others.

▶ Show someone you care!

▶ Act with love or kindness.

10 Ways to Show Compassion:

1. Volunteer for an organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of others.

There's nothing greater to give than service to others. Giving of your time, energy, or efforts is a charitable way to show compassion. Channel your positive energy by sharing your talents or skills with an organization that helps others.

2. Offer encouragement when someone is struggling with a task or life circumstance.

Sometimes the only help we can offer is a kind word or two to motivate someone to keep going. Words of wisdom, helpful advice, or simply cheering them on can go a long way in helping someone who's going through a difficult situation in life.

3. Express gratitude to someone.

Saying thank you for someone's attitudes or actions is a great way to display compassion. Gratitude is an approach in kindness that validates someone's hard work or best qualities. It creates space for peace and harmony and motivates someone to keep doing their best.

4. Without criticizing, teach someone how to do something better when they make a mistake.

We can all feel the heat of shame when we make a mistake. Mistakes can be discouraging and even damaging to our self-esteem. But, mistakes have their purpose. They can also teach us how to do better. But, that feat is far more possible when we have someone willing to lend a hand and demonstrate how we can do better. Helping someone to improve or prevent making the same mistake twice shows that you care about their happiness and success.

5. Do a good deed. Offer to help someone with their to-do list, especially an elderly person or someone with a disability.

Good deeds never go unnoticed, even if you don't see it right away. Helping someone else with a task or chore lifts a burden off someone's back. Even if you don't think your small act is a big deal,  I assure you that helping someone out sends a big message. It says you care enough about them to jump in. It says they matter, they're important, and they are not forgotten.

6. Offer constructive feedback over criticism.

Most of the time, we know if we've done something wrong or if we've done a poor job at something. It can already make us feel bad. Criticism only makes it sting more. Criticism can damage, destroy, and discourage us from trying again. It can set us so far back that we just give up. But, giving constructive feedback shows that you care. It shows you believe in someone and their dreams and that you want to offer ways to help them get there. Therefore, constructive feedback can help to repair, re-energize, and reset someone's efforts on their path to success.

7. Take the time to listen and understand someone's pain.

Being heard and understood are two things that matter the most to people. It validates their existence and makes them feel like they matter to someone. But, pain can be so personal. It is not something everyone is willing to share. In fact, some people don't share their personal problems with just anyone. If someone chooses to open up to you, give them your full attention and do your best to understand what they share with you. It can go a long way in helping them heal and move forward with their life.

8. Offer someone a hug or gentle pat on their hand, arm, or shoulder.

Gentle body language and touch demonstrates compassion and affection. Use touch to show you care and to reassure them everything's going to be alright. Doing so can be just enough to keep them going and help them face a difficult situation in their life.

9. Say positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Positive affirmations are like little magic spells we cast on ourselves to make our dreams come true. Negative self-talk can hold you back, keep you stuck in fear, and discourage you from reaching your goals. But, positive self-talk can propel you forward by boosting your self-belief, self-esteem, courage, and confidence! When you believe in yourself, you will take more positive actions to produce the results you desire.

10. Practice self-care.

Give yourself some slack or credit for all the hard work or efforts you put in day after day. Treat your mind, body, or spirit with kindness by being extra gentle with it. Do anything fun or relaxing to calm your mind, relax your body, or lift your spirits. Exercise to improve circulation. Eat your favorite, healthy foods to nourish yourself. Support your mental and physical health by getting proper rest in the form of a nap or going to bed earlier at night. Self-care can also mean spending time with your loved ones. Celebrate a birthday, a friendship, or a relationship with a party, a picnic, dinner date, or day trip. Self-care is a momentary escape from the responsibilities of life by putting you and your needs first.

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