There is increasing evidence that when people feel meaningfully engaged with activities in their life, and that they can make a difference to somebody else, this helps with depression. If you take a genuine interest in the welfare of others, it can help you , too. Depression tends to be a very self-focused problem. Some people have found that taking up charity work or doing random acts of kindness is helpful.
Helping others can put meaning into our lives- but this is not a submissive sort of helping others, so that they will like you, then you can get disappointed if they don’t. This is cultivating a genuine understanding that all of us are vulnerable to the ups and downs of life, all of us are on the same journey , and therefore generally reaching out to each others and helping each other is a way we can cope better .
Compassionate behaviour is often also about courage. For example, if you suffer from a fear of giving out (agoraphobia), then compassion is about encouraging yourself with kindness and understanding to go out a little further each dayif you can; if it gets too difficult for you, be supportive and tell yourself to have a go maybe tomorrow.
Compassion is not sitting at home eating chocolates because it is soothing ! Kindness in this context is not avoidance , or just having a nice warm bath with candles. Compassion is about approaching problems with support , encouragement and an understanding of the difficulties . In fact you already have the compassion and wisdom to know this .
Imagine you have a child or somebody you really care about, who has to do something frightening , or that they find difficult -what attitude would you take?
I will complete in article 3 soon.
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