12 Heartwarming Quotes to Encourage Compassion for Others and Yourself | The Health Sessions

12 Heartwarming Quotes to Encourage Compassion for Others and Yourself

Compassion is a admirable trait that forms the heart of our society, religions and humanistic views. Our minds and bodies seem to be wired to care. When you see somebody else suffer, your brain reacts to their pain as if it was your own. Not only do you instinctively empathize with others, the part of your brain that wants to alleviate their distress also lights up. Studies show that when you feel compassion, your heart rate slows down and the bonding hormone oxytocin is released.

Tuning into other people’s feelings in a kind manner doesn’t just help them – it makes you feel good too. Feeling compassion can improve your relationships, boost your resilience and give you a more optimistic outlook on life – all factors that are linked to a happier, healthier you.

And the good news is, you don’t have to become the next Mother Theresa or Gandhi to cultivate compassion. Simple things like looking for similarities between yourself and others or really listening to what someone’s saying also encourages feelings of compassion.

In the Dutch language, there’s an important distinction between ‘medelijden’ (compassion or pity; literal translation: co-suffering) and ‘medeleven’ (sympathy; literally: co-living). It’s a good thing when you genuinely want to understand what somebody’s going through and taking action to help them, but that doesn’t mean you should take on their suffering.

Because compassion is about being kind to yourself too. True self-compassion is not the same as a narcissistic self-love, being easy on yourself or making excuses. It’s about paying attention to your needs and taking a caring approach, instead of a self-critical one.

Have a look at these 12 heartwarming quotes to encourage compassion for others and yourself. 

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9 Edible Gifts for Healthy Food Lovers | The Health Sessions

9 Edible Gifts for Healthy Food Lovers

Let’s be honest: who doesn’t like a delicious treat? Edible gifts are the perfect present to both give and receive. Making a little effort to cook up something appetizing shows you care, especially if you add a personal touch. Even better, there are giftable recipes to suit even the smallest budget.

So no matter if you’re looking for a last-minute holiday present or want to bring your sick friend a treat, get creative and fill your kitchen with the aromas of healthy homemade edible gifts! 

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Spoonie Gift Guide: The 36 Most Comforting Presents for Your Chronically Ill Friend | The Health Sessions

Spoonie Gift Guide: The 36 Most Comforting Presents for Your Chronically Ill Friend

Would you like to pamper your sick friend but don’t know what gift you should get them?

Finding the perfect present for the people you love can be a challenge in itself, but chronic illness can make the search even more complicated. What do you buy someone who can’t do a lot of things or suffers from sensitivities?

It depends of course on your friend’s illness, situation and interests. But many spoonies love to receive something soothing and indulgent, whether that’s a wellness gift, practical items to deal with the daily discomfort or entertaining goodies to beat the boredom.

For inspiration, have a look at these 36 comforting spoonie gift ideas for any budget. 

Read more >Spoonie Gift Guide: The 36 Most Comforting Presents for Your Chronically Ill Friend



How to Flip-Think Your 'Spoonie Guilt' with These Two Words| The Health Sessions

How to Flip-Think Your ‘Spoonie Guilt’ with These Two Words

When you live with limitations, you’ll inevitably disappoint yourself or others because you can’t live up to (your own) expectations.

Canceling a meeting at the last minute due to a crippling flare-up, not being able to do your ‘fair share’ around the house or having to say ‘no’ to your kids when they want to play with you, the list of things people with chronic illness can feel guilty about is long and diverse.

And even though it’s not your fault you can’t do things because you’re too sick, that doesn’t mean you don’t beat yourself up over letting people down.

But instead of apologizing all the time, there’s a way to express your ‘spoonie guilt’ in a more positive way: by saying ‘thank you’ instead of ‘I’m sorry’.

Read more >How to Flip-Think Your ‘Spoonie Guilt’ with These Two Words



33 Ways to Best Support Your Friend in Need | The Health Sessions

33 Ways to Best Support Your Friend in Need

Let me know if I can help.

It’s a well-meant, reassuring phrase when someone you care about is going through a difficult time. But despite our best intentions, many of us don’t really know what to say or do when our friend loses a loved one or our colleague faces a life-altering illness.

There’s a fine line between giving someone space to grieve or respecting their need to deal with the tragic situation in their own way and reaching out for support. Although it’s kind not to want to burden your friend when they’re going through such a difficult time, a lot of people find it hard to ask for help when they need it.

That’s why it helps to make a specific offer when someone could use your assistance. Instead of saying “let me know if you need anything“, try to come up with something concrete that you could do to help them: watch their kids, cook a comforting meal or call them once a week to see how they’re doing. Just make sure you only offer help you’re genuinely able to give – letting your friend down when they’re counting on you is inconsiderate.

So what can you do or say to help out? Have a look at these 33 ways to best support your friend or loved ones in need.

Read more >33 Ways to Best Support Your Friend in Need