Researchers found that actively practicing compassion — the capability to recognize another’s suffering and be motivated to relieve that suffering — not only decreases anxiety, but it also increases an overall state of calm. And, more importantly, they found that it is indeed possible to teach people to be more compassionate.
Notice and pay attention: Notice how you’re feeling in a situation and how your body is reacting. Figure out what you need. You might just need a few deep breaths to settle your mind and those sweaty hands.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: Take time to consider life from her perspective. Recognize that just like you, he/she has family and friends, goals and dreams ... and baggage.
Let it go: Acknowledge that you’re anxious about a person or situation and let that thought move on to allow the flight-or-fight part of your brain to relax instead of obsess. (Meditating daily, in particular, can help train your brain to let go.)
Practice makes perfect: Start where it’s easier. Practice compassion with yourself and with a loved one. Then ease into those more difficult relationships.