Happiness & Compassion

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Having Compassion is known to be one of the ways to increase your happiness. Let's define compassion as taking action when you see others or yourself hurting. Mindfulness practice is the fast track to expanding compassion. There are tons of mindfulness practices, but no one size fits all practice. Choose a mindfulness practice based on your personality

Text of Happiness & Compassion

  • 1. Happiness & CompassionSimple CompassionPractices that will makeyou Happier(based on the Myers-Briggs, take it all with a grain of salt!)

2. Science tells usPracticing mindfulness increases your capacityfor compassion, which is one way to increaseyour feeling of happiness and satisfaction withlife.But here is no one-size fits allfor mindfulness practicesFind the mindfulness practice that fits yourpersonality type. 3. Extrovert(talkative, think out loud, get energized by being around people)Follow your thoughts. A common misunderstanding is thatmindfulness training means emptying your mind. It is actuallyjust the opposite. The goal is to be aware of your thoughts,feelings and impulses. Notice when a thought or feeling arises,when it disappears. Do not judge your thoughts or feelings. Asmuch as you can and as often as you can, bring yourself back tobeing aware of your feelings and thoughts. Dont chastiseyourself if you get lost in your thoughts or feelings. See if youcan identify patterns in your thoughts or feelings. Are therethemes? Do certain feelings come up more than others? Becurious. Dont judge. Just observe. The mere act of bringingyourself back into awareness of your thoughts or feelings is themindfulness practice, and will increase your capacity forcompassion. 4. Introvert(reserved, avoid the lime-light, recharge from quiet time)Follow your breath. This is one of the most reveredmindfulness practices. Sit silently and bring your focus to yourbreath. Each time your mind wanders, bring yourself back toyour breath. Try to concentrate on your breath but do notchastise yourself or judge if your mind wanders. Just bringyourself back to the breath. You might try noting, by countingone for inhale, two for exhale, one, two etc. If you find your mindwandering while you count, get curious about your breath. Howdoes it feel in your nose, your mouth, your throat, your lungswhen you inhale? Can you taste it? Does the body feeldifferently? Where? How? It is the act of brining your mind backto awareness of the breath that is the mindfulness practice, soeach time your mind wanders and you bring yourself back toawareness of the breath, you are building compassion in you. 5. Intuitive(big-picture - idea - conceptual person, prefer potential to actual)Day dream. Identify one idea, concept oroccurrence and take the time to play it out all theway in your mind. Stay focused on the object ofyour day dream. Think about all the alternatives,and the impact of each one. Look at your objectfrom various perspectives. Ask yourself whatwould it be like in different circumstances past,present and future. Give yourself the time tothink things all the way through and to let yourmind wander down the paths as you play it allout. 6. Realist(specific - literal person, attention to detail, focused on reality)Body scan. You can do this in a crowded train or alone in asilent room. You can take 1 minute to do this, or an hour ormore. Start with your toes or the top of your head and bringyour awareness to that part of you body. Note if there isfeeling there and if so, what it is. If there is none, note that. Donot judge. If there is pain, just note it. You may want to justscan the outside of your body (head, eyes, noseankle, foot,toes), go into great detail (right little finger tip, little fingermiddle joint) or include your insides (hair on the head, skinover skull, skull, brain, blood vessels etc). Each time your mindwanders, bring it back to the last place you remembered inyour scan. This is a great way to practice mindfulness and helpyourself wind-down for sleep too, or use time otherwise spentfretting when you cant sleep. 7. Logical(uses logical reasoning, level headed, fairness & justice held highly )Mind Sounds. Whether in a quite private place or noisy publicspace, allow yourself to sit quietly. Close your eyes if you can, orsoftly focus in front of you. Note each sound as it arises. Note asit disappears. Note the feeling that accompanies that sound. Doyou like it? Is it annoying, painful or nerve wracking? Allow thefeeling or thought that comes up with the sound to arise as well,noting it, then noting as that thought or feeling disappears. If astory comes up about the sound, such as where it comes fromor a meaning attached to it, just notice your mind thinking, andthen bring your mind to focus again on sounds. A variant of thisexercise is to play music, and allow yourself to get completelylost in the music, bringing yourself back into the music eachtime thoughts arise. 8. Pleaser(warm, empathetic, forgiving, seeks harmony, sees the best in people)Loving Kindness Sit or lie down in a quiet safe place. Imagine youare looking at the person or pet you most love in the world. Allowyour heart to fill with love and silently say to that person or pet fromyour heart may he/she be happy, may he/she be without fear, mayhe/she be at ease. Imagine someone else you love, and extend thelove you were feeling to that person, silently saying to that personmay he/she be happy, may he/she be without fear, may he/she beat ease. Now bring to mind someone you feel neutral about, andextend the love to that person, silently repeating the same phrase.Next bring to mind someone who you do not like, even hate andextend love to them, repeating the same thing again. Last, againbring to your mind the image of the person or pet you most dearlylove, and say the phrase may he/she be happy, may he/she bewithout fear, may he/she be at ease. Finish by extending the loveto yourself, and the phrase may I be happy, I be without fear, may Ibe at ease. 9. Guardian(rule follower, does not like ambiguity or surprises)Clean the house. Or do any other mundane task,but focus exclusively on exactly what you are doing.Pay attention to every detail of what you are doingand notice every aspect of your actions. Notice howyour hands feel, the texture and temperature ofthe vacuum tub or dish cloth, the dust bunnies inthe corner. When your mind wanders, worries,starts thinking about the future or gets impatient tofinish, bring yourself back to focusing on exactlywhat you are doing in that moment. 10. Improviser(open minded, spontaneous, likes surprises and new situations)Visual Mindfulness. Stare at the sunset. Gazeat the clouds. Lay down under a tree and lookinto the branches. Keep your mind focused onthe beauty. See every detail, every change astime passes. Be fully aware of what you areseeing. Note your feelings and thoughts as youbehold, and if your mind wanders, bringyourself back to seeing as closely as possiblethe object of your mindfulness practice. 11. Join the Happiness RevolutionTake theGross National Happiness IndexUse the Gross National Happiness Indexfor your project or areahappycounts.org