Many of us are more than happy to support someone in need.  Yet what is the best way to help?

If the need is for something practical it may mean giving up some time and perhaps offering some advice. However, for a more personal problem that needs emotional and spiritual support, offering advice is often not appropriate.

The three important things that you can do to support someone is to listen, listen and listen.

  1. Listen by allowing them to tell their story without interruption with your full attention. This means checking your wandering mind, and bringing it back to the present.
  2. Listen in a non-judgemental way. Avoid relating your own experience or those of others.
  3. Listen with an open heart and compassion towards their suffering. Keeping a connection with the Source will help you not to identify with their suffering.

Only then ask them, ‘Is there anything that I can do that would be helpful at this time?’  Often just being there and listening is enough.

Who would you turn to for support?

If you were needing help who would you turn to for support. Here is a list of situations where you may find yourself needing help: losing your house keys; following an accident receiving a diagnosis of a life threatening illness; the death of a someone close; a mistake at work; a row with your partner or friend.  Also, ask yourself what are the qualities you would wish of a person in each of the above circumstances?

Finally, it is interesting to note if you tend to turn to one person or you have several that you would call on.  

Craig Brown

To follow Craig’s daily mindfulness suggestions @amindfuldoctor  please click here.

Craig’s free meditation podcasts can be accessed by clicking here.

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