We live in a world where our smartphones, digital communication, and social media have taken over a huge part of our lives. If your birth year starts with the number 19, you probably remember how life was way different back then. People talked to each other without being distracted. There was so much more time for deep conversations, mutual understanding, emotional support, and connection. Of course, we still do that now, but on a much more shallow level than we used to. Although I love the fact that we can communicate digitally, I really miss connecting on a deeper level. Nowadays, our digital lives are so fast-paced and we can’t see someone’s face when we are talking on WhatsApp or Facebook. There is no way you can really tell a person’s true feelings when you communicate with them online. Because of this, there is a danger is that we feel less compassionate toward others, whether we want to or not. Did you know that besides being a kinder person to others, being compassionate has very powerful health benefits? Say what? The fact is that I started thinking about being more compassionate to others after I was invited by The Body Shop for their LGBTQ+ Support event in Amsterdam last week. This event was all about showing compassion. Something we need so desperately more of in our lives in my opinion.
Did you know that compassion has proven so beneficial that actual programs in the US exist called “compassion training”? These programs involve intensive exercises in mindfulness with the goal being to provide a framework for compassion in participants. Everyone from soldiers to school children, to our favorite athletes has practiced some form of compassion training. The results have lead to things like being more resilient and experiencing less stress. First of all, what is true compassion, and why is it is so beneficial to others, but also yourself? Compassion literally means, “to suffer together”. It’s similar to empathy, but not quite the same thing. Empathy is sharing in someone’s feelings, while compassion has the added element of wanting to help in someone’s pain. So, it’s like putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and going, “Oh, your shoes hurt. Let’s find you less painful shoes.” You want to do something about it. The desire to take care of each other is one of the defining characteristics of being a human. There is a greater feeling of being connected to our humanity when we receive compassion from another person. Compassion as it turns out isn’t just good for the person you are trying to help; it’s good for you too. Here is how:
Our Western way of life places a strong value on individualsism. That is great, to an extent, but too much focus on yourself can make you feel pretty sad and inadequate. If you choose to help someone with different problems than yours, you can end up with a different outlook. A lot of people tend to think that helping others is sacrificing themselves, but as you can see quite the opposite is true. We the women going through (peri)menopause tend to go inward and prioritize our transforming bodies and mind. We feel like we’ve done all the caring (kids, husbands, etc) We get moody, sometimes even angry, feel bloated, anxious, or too fatigued to feel compassionate, let alone be there for others and that’s okay. The flip side is that we feel less connected which makes us feel even more alone in our midlife journey.
Studies show that showing compassion to others:
“Reduces stress levels – You feel happier – Reduces your risk of heart disease – Gives us a greater sense of purpose – Increases our self-esteem – It boosts your immune system – You have less chronic pain – Your mind is less on yourself – Helps us love ourselves more – Strengthens our relationships – Makes us a more forgiving person”
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t practice healthy self-love and set our boundaries, but practicing the art form of compassion is a beautiful gift to humanity while getting healthier and happier while doing it! Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Talking about compassion, just recently The Body Shop invited me to join their event supporting The LGBTQ+ community and their fight for safety. I immediately jumped on the invitation.
LGBT stands for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and transgender community and their voice for equality is getting louder and louder. During Pride month, The Body Shop is supporting their path to acceptance worldwide. In many countries, you still get the death penalty or prison time if you are gay or transgender. Every day people have to flee their country because of who they are. LGBT asylum seekers that are seeking shelter in The Netherlands are being discriminated against and living in extremely unsafe conditions. The Body Shop has partnered with LGBT Asylum Support and is donating 1 euro out of every product sold to help Asylum seekers find the safety and comfort they need. Isn’t that a beautiful example of compassion? I had so much fun at the event eating vegan bites and chatting with everyone attending. It felt good to be able to help a little by bringing this sensitive subject to the attention it needs. The reason I really took this subject to the heart is that my daughter Lyon is transgender and I’m aware of her struggle.
When it comes down to my outfit for the day, I have been obsessed with blazers lately. Pink is thé color of the season and I’m all for it. I absolutely adore pink and I think this color suits everyone regardless of your age. It is such a happy color and totally brightens the skin tone. I got so obsessed with this particular blazer that I had to get it in black and white as well. The structured lines slims down your figure (great when you feel bloated or chunky) and looks so well put together when you throw it over literally anything! You can still grab the black and white version here
Thanks for stopping by lovelies!
xo Tamara Chloé
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