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The Compassion Practices

Nov 12, 2021

Compassion, care for others, care for self, connection, and community. Do you have enough of these in your life?

What is The Compassion Project?

The Compassion Practices shared by the Compassion Project have been used by tens of thousands of people in health and social care across the UK and internationally. Endorsed and promoted by the NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health Wales, the aim is to ensure those who care for us get the care they need.

The structured practices are about reconnecting people to purpose, humanity, self, and each other. It’s accessible, straightforward, and easy to implement.


The Principles

All the Compassion Practices follow a common set of principles and a broadly similar structure. If you follow these principles, you really can’t go far wrong – there are lots of different ways in which they can be applied.

  • Making compassion a priority – holding space for each other and ourselves
  • Creating a warm, welcoming, appreciative atmosphere to encourage a positive frame of mind
  • Taking turns to speak and listen, in a circle if you are physically together
  • Having equal time to speak so that all are heard, and no one dominates
  • Offering the option not to speak
  • Using respectful, inclusive, and non-judgmental language
  • Ensuring the practices are accessible so that they can be widely used; creating inclusive spaces and using inclusive language so that all feel welcome
  • Encouraging self-care – turning towards our challenges in resourceful ways, whilst bringing compassion to ourselves

The paradox that we have consistently found is that the structure of the practices, rather than being restrictive, creates the space, the freedom, the feeling of safety, the creativity, and the equity of listening that are pre-conditions for liberating compassion.

Bonus! Compassion Habits

In our work and research over the years, we have identified the following powerful Compassion Habits that run through all of the Compassion Practices and that complement the Principles:

  • Listen with a quiet mind
  • Ask questions that matter
  • Appreciate from the heart

The Compassion Practices

Interested in getting involved with The Compassion Project? Whether it’s just you, you and friends or your whole team from work, find out more information and how to become more compassionate via their website.

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The Compassion Practices

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