Are you a Compassionate Person?

8 Ways To Tell if You’re A Truly Compassionate Person

on 21 July, 2014 at 22:44

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“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama

His remarks capture a simple truth: Despite popular belief that happiness depends solely on you, the way to achieve it may not lie just within yourself, but in your relationships and interactions with others.

“When we have feelings of caring or love for other people, we feel better,” clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., tells The Huffington Post. “We all think we want to be loved, but what actually feels good to us is feeling loving – and part of what makes us feel more love for other people is doing kind, compassionate things for them.”

The good news is, if you don’t normally identify as someone who is overly empathetic, studies show it’s a habit that can be cultivated. So how can you tell if you are or not?

Below, find eight signs you’re a truly compassionate person.

You find commonalities with other people.

Compassionate people know what it’s like to be down on their luck, and they keep those experiences in mind to develop a more empathetic nature, whether through volunteering or just simply networking. “Compassionate people are very outward-focused because they think and feel about other people,” Firestone says. “They have that ability to feel others’ feelings, so they’re very socially connected.”

And turns out, there’s science behind why we feel compassion toward people who have been in our same boat. In one small study, researchers found that humans’ sense of compassion actually increases when there’s a common connection with the other person. “What these results suggest is that the compassion we feel for others is not solely a function of what befalls them: if our minds draw an association between a victim and ourselves — even a relatively trivial one — the compassion we feel for his or her suffering is amplified greatly,” study researcher and Northeastern University psychology professor David DeSteno, Ph.D., wrote in The New York Times.

You don’t put emphasis on money.

If money doesn’t buy happiness, then according to studies from the University of California, Berkeley, it doesn’t buy compassion, either. In one study, researchers found that as someone grew in social class, his or her compassion for others declined. The findings support previous research that showed that a higher social class also negatively influences a person’s ability to pay attention in interactions wither other people, Scientific American reported.

You act on your empathy.

Firestone says a major component of compassion is giving back, even in the smallest ways. “When we take actions that are caring and loving, we feel more love in return,” she explains. This is why compassionate people act on their kindness, whether it’s through volunteering or just being a shoulder to lean on — and overall they’re much happier for it. “If you’re going after happiness, you don’t get as happy as you would if you’re going after generosity,” she says. “A hedonistic way of pursuing happiness really doesn’t work for most people.”

You’re kind to yourself.

“Self-compassion is actually really, really key to becoming a more compassionate person overall,” Firestone explains. “It’s hard to feel for other people something we don’t feel for ourselves.”

Practicing self-love is a little different than self-esteem, is also crucial to beating bad habits in other aspects of our lives. “We often think the way to change bad behaviors is to beat ourselves up, But self-compassion is actually the first step in changing any behavior you want to change.” And there’s science to back it up: According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, those who practice self-compassion are more motivated to improve themselves and go for their goals.

You teach others.

Compassionate people don’t want to just keep their gifts to themselves, they want to impart their knowledge onto other people. As motivational speaker and author Jen Groover notes, it’s this desire that lies in the root of all empathetic habits. “True compassion exists when you give your strength, guidance and wisdom to empower another so that you can see who you really are and live in a greater capacity and expect nothing in return,” she wrote. “True grace exists when the ‘teachers’ realize that the gift was really theirs — to be able to teach another.”

You’re mindful.

meditationWhen you’re exercising compassion, you’re putting yourself in the moment. Compassionate people aren’t listening and checking their smartphones at the same time — they’re present, offering their empathetic response to the story right in front of them.

This awareness is crucial to compassion because it allows you to really focus on others rather than your own reflections. “Mindfulness allows us to develop a different relationship to our feelings,” Firestone explains. “Feelings or thoughts may come up, but with mindfulness we can sort of see them as clouds floating by. Not getting caught up in our thoughts is really helpful.”

You have high emotional intelligence.

Individuals who are tapped into their own compassion also seem to be tapped into their own emotions. “It’s partly … being able to see what’s going on in your mind and other people’s minds,” Firestone explains. “I think when we can do that we have more compassion toward other people.”

When you’re emotionally intelligent, you also have a greater sense of morality and you genuinely try to help others – which are all crucial components of empathy. Compassionate people “understand that other people have a sovereign mind that sees the world differently than you do — and one isn’t right and one isn’t wrong,” Firestone says.

You express gratitude.

“Doing things that light us up and make us feel good — people think of that as being selfish, but often that leads us to better behavior toward other people,” Firestone says. One way to do that is to count the positives.

Whether or not you’ve committed a lot of compassionate acts in your life, chances are you’ve been on the receiving end at least once or twice. Empathetic individuals not only acknowledge those acts of kindness done unto them, they actively express gratitude for them. “Just thinking about our gratitude for other people makes us feel happy,” Firestone says. “And it’s slowing down and expressing those types of things that makes us more caring and loving.”

-The Mind Unleashed

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Finding Love – Article

If You Can’t Find A Good Partner, You’re Probably Making This Mistake

There’s a huge mistake that many people make when it comes to finding love. In this article, I’m going to tell you what that mistake is, and how to change it so you can attract the relationship you want.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to finding love is: They believe a relationship is going to complete them.

What I mean is: You think something’s missing in your life, and another person will make that feeling go away.

You think that a relationship is the key to you being happy.

If you think this way (even just a little bit), I’m sorry to tell you that this is not the case. In fact, this mindset is sabotaging your experience in love. Here’s why:

1. Other people can feel it when you have anxiety about finding love.

Any time you approach a relationship from a sense of emptiness inside — like something is missing and you’re trying to fill a hole — it will be sensed by the people you’re dating. And it won’t feel good to them.

When you’re confident, your vibe goes something like this:”It’s nice to meet you, and we’ll see if I want to continue spending time with you.”Cool, calm, collected, and probably pretty intriguing.

But when you have that underlying feeling of needing to find a relationship, your entire vibe changes. It feels more like this: “Do you like me?”

Energetically, it’s not attractive. In fact, it has the opposite effect on people; it repels them away. And this is a big problem if you’re looking for love.

2. You attract experiences that match how you’re feeling on the inside.

If you feel like something’s missing in your life, then your experience will bring you proof that this perception is true.

For example, if you’re preoccupied with finding a partner and hyper-focused on not having one, you’ll continue to see the same results of not having a partner. The experience will appear in two specific ways: You’ll either remain single, or find a relationship that keeps you unfulfilled.

That’s probably not the outcome you’re looking for if you desire a loving partnership.

So, knowing all this, what can you do about it? How can you change to feel more secure, at ease, present and confident when you’re looking for love?

You start by searching for the feelings you think a relationship will bring you, inside yourself.

I know that at first you might be skeptical — you may think it’s impossible to feel connected, loved, held and taken care of without a partner. But I promise you that you can.

The most beautiful thing about this process is that once you find these feelings inside of you, you’ll be much more likely to find them in a relationship, too.

People tend overcomplicate this experience, which is referred to as self-love. And while the mind might have a hard time making sense of it, if you take a moment to drop into your heart, it will know exactly what I mean.

Self-love is simply a sense of finding peace, happiness, contentment, acceptance, and love inside of you.

It requires a quite mind, an open heart, and a connection to your inner voice.

You find self-love in a yoga practice.

You find self-love when you meditate.

You find self-love when you journal, go to therapy, and get to know yourself.

You find self-love by setting aside quite time to just be with you.

You have to feel good before you find a partner if you want the relationship to feel good, too.

By creating a practice of finding peace, strength, happiness, and fulfillment within, the sense of needing something outside of you to feel good will start to disappear. And when this happens, ironically, everything you’ve always wanted, including an incredible relationship, will make their way to you.

Day 20: BPD Challenge (Expressing Yourself)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 20: How do you usually express yourself?

I express myself through music and writing. I love listening to music and singing in my car at the top of my lungs. It is the best feeling to me and completely changes my mood.

I love writing and blogging, this blog/website of mine has completely helped me to express myself.

 

Day 18: BPD Challenge (Opinions of others)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 18: Do you worry what people think of you?

I usually do worry about how others perceive me. Not as much today than I did four years ago but it’s still there. It doesn’t change over night. I worry that if people actually knew about my disorder or how I am deep down, they would judge me or think I am crazy. I do not talk about my website, blog or feelings to people other than my family because I’m not ready yet. I worry what they might think of me.

A friend of mine recently told me, “Your FB is so fancy, you seem so fancy, so classy”. I laughed so hard when he said that, I thought to myself, I am far from fancy and classy. I’m just a typical laid back girl with mild mood swings. But he was right, I scanned through my FB and sure enough, I made everything look fancy; photos, filters, posts. I guess I want others to perceive me as doing well, or sane and normal. Then again, most people do that on social media. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Once we started hanging out, he said. “Wow you are really cool, laid back and not ‘fancy’ like I thought you were. I like this person in front of me.” Ever since then, I try to not care so much of how others think on social media. I am me, and that is okay. It ended up being our thing, our inside joke, if something was “Too fancy” we avoided it and laughed.

Four years ago I was terrified to be alone. I was so scared of what others may think of me that I let it control me. Just yesterday, I was bored and lonely. Didn’t have anyone to hang out with, then realized there was a movie I really wanted to see (This is where I leave you). For a minute I thought, “I wish I had someone to go with.” Then without hesitating, grabbed my purse and went to the movies all by myself. Four years ago I would have never done that, I cared that others might think, “look at that girl all by herself like a loser.” Not today, I just went for it. It was so liberating for me, I didn’t care what ANYONE thought. I went on a date with myself and it felt great. That’s all that matters.

Recovering the Desire to Live

Recovering the Desire to Live

  • Posted on: 14 September 2014
  • By: Leah Harris

“Though my last suicide attempt was 20 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the eve of my 18th birthday. I left the hospital bewildered, scared, and unsure of what would happen next.

At the time, I didn’t have much of a support system. I remember sitting on a ratty couch with my knees hugged up to my chest, trying to decide whether or not to keep on living. In those moments, something inexplicable inside of me shifted, and the part of me that wanted to live gained just the slightest advantage over the part that wanted to die.

I reached out to my family and begged them to let me come home. I began to complete my high school education. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had something to hold on to, just a hint of solid ground beneath my feet.

Recovering the desire to live has been a long and uneven process since then. If recovery seems like an impossible concept to you as you read this, I understand. I had to take baby steps. I had to swallow my shame and ask for a lot of help. I had to find something, anything, to believe in, no matter how small. I had to work very hard, every day, to keep the part of me that wanted to live stronger than the part that wanted to die. I’ve found relief through cultivating a group of dedicated and supportive friends.

Don’t be ashamed or afraid to tell the truth of what you have known. By doing so, you break down the walls of silence and shame that surround suicide. You can use your own survival story, no matter how messy or uneven or imperfect it may be, to help someone else strengthen the part inside that wants to live. In this way, we can each make this world a safer place to fall apart, and to find ourselves again, in the healing space of supportive community.”

TWLOHA

Love Yourself- Article

HOW TO QUIT NEGATIVE SELF-TALK AND GET HAPPY

“Negative self talk! Why have we all fallen victim to this nasty state of bringing ourselves down? Let’s get one thing clear, self-talk isn’t just mindless chatter spiraling around in your head. It has a way of creating its own reality. Telling yourself you can’t do something can make that come true. Tell yourself you’ll never lose weight and it can be like eating a box of doughnuts. Tell yourself it’s too hard to find a new career and you will be likely to continue the cycle of disliking your old job and stay within that exact rut.

“Self-talk dictates how you relate to yourself and how you show up for other people. Let’s say you think you have nothing interesting to say. If you keep telling yourself that, other people are going to see you that way too.” – Franco Beneduce

People who think negatively tend to be less outgoing and have weaker social networks than positive thinkers. Multiple studies link positive emotions with more satisfying relationships, more romance and even lower rates of divorce and separation.

self-talkThe more you focus on negative events or shortcomings, the harder it is to put them behind you. In a survey of 231 college students, those with a positive outlook in life were more likely to look back on negative events and report how much better things are for them now. There are lessons in every challenge and an opportunity for growth. Acknowledge a bad day as just that, a bad day, don’t allow a certain event, conversation or let down determine your happiness.

If negative self-talk came with an off switch, you could just flip it off and be done with it. But it doesn’t. It takes a plan and some work to tone it down. Learning to dispute negative thoughts might take time and practice, but it is worth every effort. Once you start looking at it you’ll probably be surprised by how much of your thinking is inaccurate, exaggerated, or focused solely on the negatives of the situation. Here are a few ways to work through it.

Focus On Something Else

Over-thinking involves focusing on a train of thought that goes around and around. You can stop that train of thought by focusing on something else, ANYTHING ELSE! Read a book, breathe, get outside for 5 minutes, rest, make lunch, whatever it takes to break that thought pattern. We can stay in the victim state forever if we don’t choose to break free of the patterns.

Dispute It

You might ask yourself, “Is that really true? Is there another way to look at this situation? Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?” You may also look for some benefits. If you missed that job promotion, are there any lessons for the future you can take from the situation? Or could another opportunity come out of it? Was that really right for you, for your path?

Listen To Your BodySelf Talk

Use your feelings as your cue to reflect on your thinking. Whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, anxious or upset, use this as your signal to stop and become aware of your thoughts. I say this all of the time, your body knows exactly what you need, LISTEN TO IT!

So Why Do We Do It?

Why are you negatively talking down to yourself? BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE BETTER! So why are we focusing on what is wrong, bad, not exactly where we want it to be and creating more of just that? Up until now you may have been unaware of your thoughts manifesting your reality, but you have the tools to build a healthier thought pattern now. Focus on what is going well in your life, I can promise you there are some! Dwelling on the past, what has gone wrong and what isn’t going right for you will only manifest more of those patterns for you. It’s a hard concept for some to accept that we are our own creators but until we believe that, we are continuing the cycle of giving away our own power.

Moving Forward – Get To The Source

Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective. You can conquer your negative self-talk today by challenging yourself with the questions above every time you catch yourself thinking something negative to yourself. When you find the source of why you do it, you can kick it for good.”

Day 13: BPD Challenge (Perfectionist)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 13: Are you a perfectionist?

YES!! Everything I do has to be perfect. I strive to be the best at everything, especially with things I’m most passionate about. At work and at home, I would rather do things on my own because I know they will get done right. I hate walking into my kitchen with my bowls in the wrong spot, or I can’t find my cup. It sets my mood wrong. I love working as a team for ideas and collaboration, however I’d rather do the work myself. Everything has to be 100%. I tend to focus on my failures more so than my success’, and when I don’t get praise from someone, I feel I didn’t work hard enough and I will push myself to do better next time. This can be a great characteristic in the business environment; my work ethic is pretty great. There are definitely cons to being a perfectionist. If I am not perfect at something or If I do not get praise then this can cause me to be down, depressed and irritable.

perfectionist-image

My Challenge Video

I know how annoying these can be to everyone but I was challenged by my brother-in-law to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I donated to ALS and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I nominated some of my favorite people. This was a fun thing to do and made me smile in the process. I decided to post my video. Don’t mind my mothers giggle. haha

#100HappyDays – Challenge

I’ve heard of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, but today I decided to look into it. I think it’s a cute idea!

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towardslong term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
The Challenge is to post a picture of something that makes YOU happy, everyday. It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you did for a stranger.
 
#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.
It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting.
I am starting my 100 day challenge on Monday, Sept. 1st. via Instagram (kla.fae). I will share a picture of what made me happy everyday and link it to my blog for those of you who do not follow my IG. I encourage you to try it!

🙂

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

SELF-CARE ISN’T SELFISH

  • Posted on: 25 August 2014
  • By: Tiffany Keesey

“You know those moments where someone perfectly puts words to something you’ve been feeling but haven’t named?

That moment happened for me when I was sitting in the conference room at Invisible Children three years ago and a guest speaker was talking about insecurity. It wasn’t even his main point, but I will never forget when he off-handedly said, “You can’t invest in others if you don’t invest in yourself.”

It struck me. It felt as if he had just given me permission to embrace something that I had felt stirring within me. At that point, I had been working for the organization for 5 years, and I was exhausted. I loved my job and the organization, believed in the mission, and was surrounded by the most incredible community, but I was worn down. I couldn’t understand why I felt continually tired and overwhelmed when I knew I was doing the job I was supposed to be doing.

And here’s what it came down to: I was putting myself last. The tendency in the nonprofit world is to always put the cause above ourselves. It’s easy to forget to prioritize self-care when you are doing something you feel is more important. I had been working crazy hours and pouring most of my energy into my job, and I was doing it without putting much thought into what was fueling me.

I know this is not just true in the nonprofit world. My friends that are new parents struggle to find any time for themselves when their kids demand all their attention, and students are taught to achieve in order to get into college or to land a good job, often forgetting to take care of themselves. Somehow, as a culture, we’ve come to view rest as weakness and self-care as selfish and unnecessary.

None of that is wrong. Working for a cause, working hard in school, and being there for your child are all wonderful things. But I believe it is time for a shift in our mentality. When we take time for ourselves, when we prioritize balance, and when we cultivate other interests, we are better for it.

Studies show that we are 20 percent more productive when we work from a happy state of mind, as opposed to a negative, stressed, or even neutral state. When we are energized, we are equipped to tackle the game-changing tasks instead of just checking our inbox. We’re better prepared to solve problems, to overcome obstacles, to make the hard decisions, and to innovate.

Every now and then, let’s trade practicality for play and work for balance. Think of it as preparation for the next season in life where your life or your family or your job demands a lot from you. You need to be your best in those times. You need to show up. So, for now, let’s free ourselves of the guilt of having to always be busy because busyness just masquerades as productivity.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here’s where you can start:

1. Go back to the basics. Feed your mind and body with nutritious food. Stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Get outside for a few minutes if you’re stuck in an office all day. Be active, even if that just means choosing the stairs over the elevator.

2. Incorporate a daily ritual. We all can find an extra 15 minutes a day to invest into ourselves, whether that means waking up a little earlier, cutting out some wasted time at work, or getting off Instagram for a little bit. Begin or end your day with something that energizes you – maybe it’s journaling, taking a brisk walk, reading poetry, practicing yoga, or just making coffee and letting your mind be still.

3. Find time to cultivate larger interests outside of work. If you don’t know where to start, go back to what you loved when you were young. If you were a bookworm like me, join a book club. If you miss sports, join a kickball league. These activities remind us who we are.

4. Learn how to say no. This was the hardest thing for me, as a recovering people pleaser living with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I challenge you to think of your time to recharge as sacred. Put it on your calendar if you need to, and don’t allow it to get pushed to the bottom of your priority list.

Repeat after me: I will be a better [student / friend / leader / spouse / professional / parent] if I take care of myself.

Great. Now go be amazing.”

To Write Love On Her Arms

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