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Compassion may be rooted in most, if not all, religions. But you do not have to be religious to be compassionate. Whatever your beliefs about faith, religion, or spirituality may be, cultivating compassion is one of the greatest things you can do to yourself and others.

1. Practice self-compassion. Compassion is not something you only give to others. If you want to be more compassionate, you have to begin with yourself. Self-compassion is about being kind, and loving, and giving to yourself. The more compassion you get from yourself, the more you can give to others.

2. Making room for gratitude. You develop appreciation for a lot of things when you make gratitude a part of your daily life. It makes you focus on what you have rather than what you do not have. And this could help you build the compassion for others who may not have some of the privileges in life that many take for granted.

3. Look for connections. Being compassionate is being able to empathize with other people’s experiences. You cultivate compassion by trying to find connections or similarities in experiences. You look at things from other people’s perspectives and try to put yourself in their shoes to get a better understanding of what they are going through.

4. Take action. You take action, if needed. You become more compassionate as you practice giving back or paying it forward to others. Your empathy drives you to do something that would uplift others in whatever small way you can.

5. Value relationships. You develop compassion as you learn to put more value on your relationships. You gain a better understanding of how your interactions with others can be a positive or negative influence on them. You start to pay more attention to what you say and do given the potential impact it can have to others.