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The Compassion Project

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By: Emily Fascilla

Have Compassion: It’s Good for Your Health

Beyond our physiological needs (like food, water, and shelter) and our safety needs (like protection from violence and natural disasters), one of our basic human needs is love and belonging. Love and belonging are key components of an individual’s ability to maintain emotional health. The lack of these essentials has the power to make individuals more susceptible to anxiety and depression.  So how do we encourage love and belonging in our own lives? Turns out it has less to do with our ability to “fit in” or feel lovable – and more to do with our ability to have compassion for others.

Lara Aknin, a Psychology Professor at Simon Fraser University, has made it her life’s work to study altruism, well-being, social relationships, and happiness; specifically, how all of those things tie together.   In studies conducted in over 136 countries, research has found that caring for others, whether financially or through emotional support, has biological impacts that include slower heart rate, and releases of oxytocin (the “bonding hormone”) and can even reduce risk of heart rate. Various studies around the world highlight the biological and psychological benefits to living compassionately. Compassion leaves us and those who surround us happier, less vindictive, more optimistic, and less likely to have stress induced illnesses.

This month as we March toward health, let us remember that part of taking care of ourselves is taking care of others. Have compassion, in place of judgment. Practice support, in place of dismissiveness. Strengthen patience and grace with ourselves, when we feel burnt out. The research shows doing these things will not only boost our emotional health, but our physical health.

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”  Buddha

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Apr 24

2024

Denim Day

April 24, 2024 is Denim Day Order your Denim Day Outreach Kit! Denim Day is a day-long awareness campaign that allows us to honor survivors of sexual assault and start conversations about the dangers of victim-blaming. Why denim? In 1992 an 18-year-old Italian girl was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor. While he was initially […]

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Apr 25

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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May 07

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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May 12

2024

Closets for Cause & Mother’s Day Dinner with Chandlers

Visit Chandlers on Mother’s Day, May 12th, to support the WCA through their Closets For A Cause event! This clothing pop-up is open to all from noon to 4 p.m. and we know you will find something you love. Additionally, visit https://www.chandlersboise.com/ to reserve your spot for their Mother’s Day Prix Fixe dinner, with proceeds […]

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May 23

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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Sep 03

2024

2024 Joyce Stein Award Celebration

HONORING THOSE WHO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE GROWTH AND ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN The Joyce Stein Memorial Award is given in memory of Boisean Joyce Ann Stein, a long-time supporter of the WCA (YWCA). Each year an individual who has made a positive impact on the growth and advancement of women is honored. After […]

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