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Help Others, Help Yourself

Posted on 04/15/2011 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

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

Did you know that having compassion and helping people is actually good for your well-being? It relieves stress and improves psychological wellness. And come on, if the Dalai Lama believes it! Barbara Graham put together 7 strategies to use for you to be a more compassionate person. It does well for others, as well as yourself: A win-win. Here’s her first tip:

Start with yourself. We’ve all heard it. Love yourself. Be your own best friend. Or in Gandhi’s words, Be the change you want to see in the world. There’s real wisdom behind the familiar phrases. After all, how can we show compassion to others if we dump on ourselves? The key here is awareness. When I catch myself flinging invective at myself — You look fat! You’re stupid! Your hair resembles a fright wig! — I’m horrified. At these moments I try to imagine what I’d say to a friend who expressed such harsh, self-judgmental thoughts — and tell it to myself.

Check out the other 6 tips here; it’s worth the read.

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