There are many ways we can show compassion for others but no matter the way, it needs to come from the heart. Swami Kripalu said we must first love ourselves, then our family and on out into our communities and worlds. Compassion must start with us and come from our heart. To show compassion it is important to be open-minded and non-judgemental, ignore differences and find commonalities with each other. Here are a few ways to show compassion:
1. Verbal and non-verbal communication. Make eye-contact, listen without interrupting, paraphrase and reiterate what you heard, ask open-ended questions. They key is to listen and hear what is being said.
2. Empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and accept another’s emotions. Show genuine concern and interest for their feelings, validate what they have said. Offer personal support. Most people just want to be heard, you don’t need to find a solution for the situation.
3. Touch (if appropriate). Gentle, appropriate touch (such as a yoga presspoint) can assist in supporting a persons physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. A squeeze of a hand or shoulder or a hug can show you care.
4. Encourage. Praise and encouragement can often get someone back on track and out of a stuck place.
5. Show emotion. Use facial expressions, small sounds, tears to let the person know you understand what they are going through.
6. Kindness. When you are kind it sets off a domino effect. The person you are kind to will in turn be kind to someone else. Kindness should be done without expecting anything in return.
The Pranakriya Team