Using Compassion to Provide the Best Psychological Services Calgary

mental health counselling Airdrie and best psychological services Calgary

Every May since 1951 (that’s over 70 years!), Canadians in communities, schools, workplaces, and the House of Commons have rallied around the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. This year, between May 6-12, 2024, the theme is around the power of compassion and how that can be used to improve mental health outcomes for all. In this article, we explore how compassion can be used in mental health counselling Airdrie and beyond to offer people the best psychological services and outcomes. 

As a therapist, I see the power of compassion as a mental health tool everyday. We see this in action when offering mental health counselling Airdrie and Calgary. We see how compassion creates the environment for healing; it offers a safe, non-judgmental, and respectful place for people to share their true thoughts, feelings, and challenges. There are two aspects to compassion: 

  1. Compassion for others 
  2. Compassion for self

Both of these aspects of compassion can be difficult for people, but the majority of our struggles come from providing compassion to ourselves. We see people come for mental health counselling Airdrie and Calgary all the time because, at core, they are having a hard time meeting themselves with love, grace, and understanding. These things can be improved when receiving the best psychological services Calgary and Airdrie, and they are also things that you can grow using self-management tools. 

Best Psychological Services in Calgary: Defining Compassion

In a nutshell, compassion is an awareness of the suffering of self and others and feeling motivated to take action on helping to alleviate this. It differs from empathy in that empathy is about awareness of feelings whereas compassion is awareness + action. For instance, we may want to offer someone a conversation, support, or something else that helps them navigate their pain rather than just bearing witness to it. 

Compassion: A Powerful Tool in Providing the Best Psychological Services Calgary

Beyond being used in mental health counselling Airdrie and Calgary for healing, compassion can be used in everyday life to create a world that is more accepting, less judgmental, and, therefore, more conducive to positive health outcomes. The idea of compassion shows up in many areas of psychology, from positive reinforcement in parenting to self-compassion (which some argue is more effective than traditional self-esteem work) to Emotional Intelligence. There is a reason that compassion is at the core of mental health counselling and the best psychological services Calgary: It is powerful. Read more about the power of compassion here

Compassion promotes action rather than just awareness of the feelings of self and others. In this action is health. This is why it is such a powerful tool when providing the best psychological services Calgary and mental health counselling Airdrie. 

Here is one of our more recent YouTube Shorts where each of our therapists outlines some of their favourite self-care and self-compassion tools! 

Let us explore both of these in more depth and see how they can be improved to create positive mental health outcomes.

Improving Compassion for Others: Emotional Intelligence & Mental Health Counselling Airdrie and Calgary

Behind the construct of Emotional Intelligence (or EQ as it is often referred to) is the idea that we can have different levels of knowledge when it comes to relationships. People with higher levels of EQ generally have:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation (they can take care when experiencing difficult emotions)
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy (here is a blog post on building empathy)
  5. Social Skills (they know how to interact with people effectively)

Here is more information about improving Emotional Intelligence. While Emotional Intelligence is not everything when it comes to compassion, it is an important foundation as it allows one to be attuned to the world around them. In establishing empathy and social skills, one can be more effective with their acts of compassion. 

To Support You in Your Journey of Building Emotional Intelligence, download your FREE ‘Guide to Emotional Intelligence’ Now! 

mental health counselling Airdrie and best psychological services Calgary

Improving Self-Compassion: What We Suggest When Providing the Best Psychological Services Calgary

Kristin Neff and Tara Brach are two of the best known names when it comes to self-compassion work. They both have a variety of books, videos, and resources when it comes to promoting a greater compassionate relationship with self. At core, the importance behind self-compassion is that you are treating yourself the way you would treat others. People who are self-compassionate are more likely to rest, sleep, eat, hydrate, move, and nurture themselves in healthy ways rather than neglecting their needs. They are true carers and nurturers of themselves as well as others. This is what leads to positive outcomes when it comes to mental health. 

In our mental health counselling Airdrie work, growing self-compassion can include the encouragement to prioritize self-care, take time for self, listen to one’s physical and emotional needs, tune into one’s feelings, and prioritize healthy relationships with others. These are all acts that foster compassion which can lessen anxiety, depression, cravings, and promote greater esteem, serenity, and motivation.  

Compassionate Acts for Mental Health

Here are some examples of compassionate acts that you can incorporate into your daily life starting today if you want! Thank you to Very Well Mind for the inspiration. 

  • Speak with kindness
  • Apologize when you’ve made a mistake
  • Listen carefully and without judgment
  • Encourage other people
  • Offer to help someone with a task
  • Be happy for someone else’s success
  • Accept people for who they are
  • Forgive people for making mistakes
  • Show respect
  • Express gratitude and appreciation
  • Be patient

Other examples that come from our lovely clients that we see in mental health counselling Airdrie and while providing the best psychological services Calgary include:

  • Practice acts of kindness, like holding a door open for someone
  • Volunteer
  • Say “Thank you” 
  • Smile and laugh with a stranger
  • Make time for friends and loved ones
  • Take time to ask a coworker how they are doing
  • Take time to ask yourself how you are feeling
  • Attend to your basic needs-if you need to go to the bathroom-go!
  • Send someone a heartfelt message
  • Reach out to someone you haven’t connected with for awhile

We have all engaged in at least some of these actions. Remember how it felt when you did? You likely felt happy, connected, content, and good within yourself. This is the power of compassion. If you prioritize this each day, it is a tool for mental health, quality relationships, and a good life. 

We wish you the best in your journey of compassion! Happy Mental Health Awareness Week to you.

You may also want to consider seeking out professional support in your journey with compassion. Work on compassion can be built into other mental health counselling Airdrie, including for depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and more. The best psychological services Calgary and beyond support you where you are at in all the ways that you need. 

Sana Psychological is a small mental health clinic providing mental health counselling in Airdrie, Alberta as well as the best psychological services in Calgary and Airdrie, Alberta. We also serve those in Yukon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Our services are built on compassion and a desire to improve mental health outcomes for everyone we meet! 

mental health counselling Airdrie and best psychological services Calgary