Is listening and attending to the needs of others really an antidote to depression and negativity? What makes compassion so difficult to access nowadays and is there anything we can do to cultivate it?
It grieves me to see many people who remain focused on their own personal goals while ready to blindly stamp over others. Compassion teaches us all to “pay attention to those who care, for those who are there, those who want the best for you!” Perhaps, while we all need these kind of people in our lives, we also need to learn how to be these kind of persons for others. Nowadays, being compassionate with others can be challenging for some and at times even require massive dose of courage and/or even psychological pain. However, it is also deeply healing.
To help cultivate more compassion, try to think these over:
What are the distractions that keep you from focusing on the needs of others? What does it mean to “forget yourself”? Is it really about forgetting? What needs have you neglected to address in someone’s life because you were too busy or focused on your own problems? What can you do today to shift your focus toward helping? Do acts of kindness really make us happy? Or is due to our own selfish desire to feel important, giving you a rush (feeling alive)? And.. Where is the edge - where does pathological altruism start?
Compassion is like learning a musical instrument - it's a skill that can be enhanced in everyone with dedicated practice.
Finding compassionate communities is what I believe can cure many mental health problems. Perhaps, the reason is not so hard to grasp. The materialistic attitude that we all live among and is associated with the pursuit of success often results in impaired relationships with friends or family which can lead to loneliness, chronic dissatisfaction, depression, stress and anxiety.