In 2021, we sent out this collection of de-stressing exercises to a group of clients over the span of 10 weeks in hopes that they might help alleviate the anxiety of debt as our clients moved through their programs. We received such amazing feedback that we wanted to make sure the rest of our clients had access to these 10 meditation, mindfulness, and awareness exercises as well! We’ll be releasing a new one each Monday morning, so check in at the start of each week for a brand new exercise.
This exercise is designed to help you increase your feelings of compassion, both for yourself and others. Follow these three simple steps and focus on inner peace to stir up your compassion.
Step 1: I’m More Than Okay
As you have heard, you really can’t love others until you learn to love yourself. If you want to develop compassion for others, the process must begin with compassion for yourself. Self-compassion starts with recognizing your goodness and strengths and a willingness to forgive yourself for your past mistakes.
Take a moment to reflect on the successes you’ve experienced today, no matter how small. Focus on your strengths rather than dwelling on your weaknesses. Think about how your strengths define your character and are on display every day of your life.
Step 2: I’m Strong Enough to Care
Think about someone you know who might be feeling down or having a challenging time. This individual should be a person for whom you genuinely care. Think about this person with the same sense of acceptance you give to yourself. Allow yourself to feel warm toward this person.
Now reflect on what that person may want or need to get through that rough time. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about what they need to experience their strengths and live the kind of life they want to live.
Step 3: I Can Share My Strengths
Now, put that thinking into action. For compassion to have any value, it must be shared. Compassion is ultimately not about you. It is from you, but it is for another. There are no strings attached, nor expectations of receiving anything in return.
Come up with a plan on how you can express compassion in this situation. What are your thoughtful concerns about this person? Now what are you willing to do to convey those feelings? It could be as simple as a quick text. The goal is to do something for someone that will make their burden a bit lighter. They need to feel your concern. That is the result of compassion.
The emphasis of this exercise suggests proving compassion toward yourself and someone you know. Practicing this exercise will help you experience the process of empathy. We recommend doing this exercise at least twice to see how it affects you.
There is no need to limit compassion to those people you know. While there is no limit to the suffering around us, that does not mean we can’t use our strengths to make the differences we can. Find ways to show compassion for your family, friends, community, and world.
Join Our Client Sessions
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to stay motivated, cope with stress, and receive other support, contact [email protected] and ask to be invited to our “Join the Conversation” sessions. These private virtual sessions are specially designed as a safe space for clients in the Beyond Finance program. You’ll learn about different topics related to dealing with debt, meet other clients in the program, and participate in a Q & A session where you can ask our financial therapists anything you like.