Staying Sunny Side Up This Winter

  • Date: 02 July 2019
  • Category: HW Blog
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Who cares about compassion?

Compassion is when you have a deep understanding of another person’s suffering and you really want to help them. The latest research is uncovering that compassion can have a positive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Some of the benefits include a more robust central nervous system, improved immune system and better sleep.

Using compassion to improve your mood

The old cliché is true: to have compassion for others you need to have compassion for yourself. This may be easier said than done, but one way to develop self-compassion is through mindfulness. Here’s a couple of simple ways:

  • Bring awareness to your thoughts, emotions and how you treat yourself. Whenever you notice unfavourable, negative self-talk, bring kindness and gentleness to yourself instead. Through this awareness you can begin to change your internal narrative, and begin to speak and treat yourself with the same love as you would a friend.
  • You can also cultivate self-compassion by being in stillness and silence. Research shows that meditating triggers responses in the same region of the brain associated with compassion.

Compassion gives us a deeper sense of purpose and meaning by seeing other people as connections to ourselves, instead of viewing them as ‘others’. There is a powerful ripple effect that takes place with compassion. Like a feel-good version of a winter cold, compassion is contagious; it influences and inspires people to also be compassionate.

So what happens when the winter blues are met with compassion? Your world becomes that little bit sunnier.


Fiona is a health and fitness professional with YMCA Victoria, who is pioneering mindfulness and meditation at the YMCA, to bring a more holistic approach to health and fitness. A graduate of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Centre in Los Angeles, Fiona’s studies brings global leading trends to a local environment with compassion and integrity.