I learned something this past week. My heart might not be ‘two sizes too small’ after all!
Seriously, I had a very odd reaction to spending time with my mother and father at the hospital. I spent two days this past week, all day, 10 hour plus days, just sitting with my parents while my mother had and recovered from surgery. I was totally exhausted by the end of each day. Oddly, I was also very rejuvenated by both days. I felt totally drained … drained of stress.
I can’t remember when I have had such a good week. All the ‘stuff’ that I tend to get all jazzed about hasn’t affected me the same way this week. It is weird. I am at peace. At peace. Peace.
Dr. Emma Seppella, Associate Director at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education Center at Stanford University, wrote a great blog about my experience, The Best Kept Secret to Happiness. In this post she explains the many benefits of compassion.
Research has shown that having compassion:
- Makes you happy.
- Makes you wise.
- Makes you more attractive to other people.
- Increases our sense of wealth and time.
- Can lift us out of a funk.
- Boost’s your health.
- Uplifts others
- Is good for the environment
I never expected to feel rejuvenated by spending time in a hospital, just sitting and waiting for my mothers health to improve. I went to support and be with my loved ones. Those two days I spent not focusing on me and all the stuff I think is SO IMPORTANT, was good for my health and well being as well.
By clearing my schedule, leaving ‘my life’ behind for a day, being compassionate, it seems I had reduced my stress by walking through the back door of wellness.