Compassion First – A Habit that Does More than You Think

The most effective way to restructure your life after you’ve asked for help and gone through alcohol addiction recovery in Florida is to put in place sustainable habits that support your new sober life. One of the most important habits you can cultivate for yourself is a practice of compassion.


Compassion First

A habit of successful people is showing other people compassion. Even if they’re faking it. The thing is we are inherently relational people. Humans need relationships, even if you’re an introvert and can only bring yourself to really know a few people, you still likely have to interact with hundreds. A somewhat difficult habit is reacting to other people, and yourself, with compassion before anything else. “Sure, obviously. I’m totally considerate.” you may say. “I let people in, in traffic.” “I open doors for people coming behind me.” But compassion reaches further.

When you say something that feels stupid or like maybe it made you seem out of touch, do you beat up on yourself about it? Instead build a habit of allowing yourself to feel that grief or embarrassment, but then react first, to that grief and embarrassment with compassion instead of hatred or self disparagement. What about when a debt collector calls you in the middle of the month and you have no money to give them. Are you kind to them? Do you hang up on them? What if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you flip them the bird? Do you freak out and yell out a long string of profanity that they can’t hear from their car, at them, as if they can? Instead consider that you’ve done the same thing before. You’ve accidentally cut someone off before. We all make mistakes. We all eventually accidentally cut someone off. Consider having compassion for the person.


Practical Application

Compassion is a very hard habit to build. First of all, because we want to guard ourselves closely, and we naturally want to attack anything that is attacking us, including ourselves! But as evolved humans, we can remember that everyone has a bad day and makes mistakes. We can remember that for ourselves too.

The best way to start putting this into practice in your life is to put compassion in your way. Make yourself think about it more. Actively think about the ways you can do this. I like to write on my wrist when there’s a particular idea I want to mediate on, or think about throughout the day or week. Recently I wrote the word “compassion in tiny letters on the inside of my wrist. Not really big enough for anyone else to notice, but I knew what it was and when I typed or washed my hands I would see the word and think about it.

This continual reminder has helped me make more of an effort to react in a complicated or inconvenient moment with compassion rather than hatred or animosity. You could write yourself a note and put it on your keyboard, refrigerator, or on your desk. If you want to, you could even talk with people you love about your effort to be more compassionate. It may inspire them to do the same.


If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction and are looking for addiction recovery and other treatment programs in Florida please call us at (844) 299-0618 or send us a message online.

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