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Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion In A Way Most People Don’t Know

Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion In A Way Most People Don’t Know

Compassion is arguably one of the most important tools that any human being should possess and utilize. It can be hard though. There are some people that you just don’t feel compassionate for. They’ve annoyed you, they’ve done something to upset you, whatever it is — sometimes there’s a reason, and it feels justified to feel no compassion towards those people.

Wouldn’t it be of great benefit to you to be able to feel more compassion towards these people, and everyone else, in general?

Well luckily for you, and everyone you come across, there is. Thanks to a study conducted by a variety of psychologists, we now have a real, tangible theory to strengthening our compassion. This study included compassion not only for people that the test subjects liked, but also the people they weren’t so fond of.

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The theory behind it basically tells us that compassion is like a physical muscle. The more you use it, the more aware of your compassionate nature you are. Much like exercising a physical muscle, exposing it to more and more challenges will strengthen it.

So the simple solution to strengthening our compassion is basically using it. This requires a heartfelt mindfulness about you though, as the opportunity to not only show compassion but be aware of your compassion can easily be missed. That’s why the previously mentioned study utilized a form of meditation, named “compassionate meditation.”

To expand upon the simple solution, here are some actionable steps that you can take right now to begin cultivating ‘more’ compassion:

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Practice Guided Meditation

The study cited above referred to a specific guided meditation they used. Luckily for everyone, they shared the files for this guided meditation. All you’ve got to do is give your name and email here, and you’ll get an email with the files.

Try Standard Meditation

Guided meditation isn’t for everyone. A voice in your ear doesn’t always bring people to that place of peace, so if the guided meditation wasn’t for you, give standard meditation a shot. If you don’t know how, give this a read.

Cultivate Mindfulness

Allow that meditation to seep into your day. Catch yourself every time you think of another, or judge another, and relate to their situation. Be mindful at every opportunity. Stay present.

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Spend Time Relating to Others

Dedicate a time every day, similar to dedicating time to meditation each day, to simply ponder upon the situation of others. Understand why you feel compassionate towards one situation, and apathetic towards another. When you realise that everyone is going through their own unique situation, as complex as your own, every day — compassion often becomes second nature.

Act Compassionately

Go beyond just feeling compassion, but begin living in compassion. Do something nice for the sake of it. Observe how others react to your compassionate nature. Cultivate the compassion. It’s infectious, pass that compassionate nature on to all that you can. (Pay it forward!)

And that should be plenty to begin your compassion work-out. Now all you’ve got to do is stick at it. Much like going to the gym every day, week, or whatever, you need to incorporate your compassion exercises into your day too!

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You’ll find that as you practice it more, the more it becomes a reflex. You’ll begin to relate to people’s situations out of habit.  Not only will you become more compassionate, but a beautiful by-product of your mindfulness practices is that your appreciation will grow. Life will inevitably take on more beauty, as you notice and relate to more of it.

So pay it forward, smile at people, tell them you love them, and remember that everyone out there is living their life — just like you.

If you have anything to add, please drop it in the comment section below.

Featured photo credit: Unknown via quotesfrenzy.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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