Speaking Topics & Testimonials 2019-01-21T10:15:33-08:00

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“I had the pleasure of attending Virginia Sampson’s presentation about self-compassion at a recent LeadingAge  conference. Her poignant message becomes more important each day as the number of informal and formal caregivers increase with the growing older adult population. It is far too easy to forget self-compassion when we are giving so much to those whom we care for. Sampson reminds us that science shows the powerful results of taking time to care for and nurture ourselves—especially when we are caregiving for others.” 

Jean Galiana MASM, RCFE, Gerontologist, Author 

“Virginia spoke at the Inaugural National Dementia and Love Symposium in Australia.  Her presentation was powerful and the feedback from people with dementia and family members, in particular, was that it was informative and thought provoking.”

Dr. Catherine Barrett
Celebrate Ageing
Melbourne, Australia

The Surprising Key to Health, Well-being, and Longevity

Compassion has major health benefits!  One of the best strategies for improving and/or maintaining your physical and psychological health is to practice compassion.  Exciting research is being conducted at universities all over the country including UC Berkeley and Stanford into the relationship of compassion and health.  There is a mind/body connection and compassion is manifested in our physical bodies.  Compassion, among other things, reduces our heart rate, stress and inflammation which is at the root cause of many diseases.   In addition, compassion helps us live longer and thrive.  It contributes greatly to our overall well-being. There are scientifically based information, strategies and tools for creating better health through compassion.

Alleviate and Prevent Burnout

Compassion fatigue or burnout is all too common among healthcare professionals and caregivers.  For employers, it results in high employee turnover and health related absences.  It also negatively impacts the quality of care provided. On an individual basis, burnout results in, among other things, depression and a sense of isolation. Burnout interferes with the ability of the caregiver to be compassionate and caring when providing care.  This can create a huge burden of guilt. There are scientifically based information, strategies and tools for combating compassion fatigue and preventing burnout.

Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line Using the Science of Compassion

We all recognize networking as one of the most valuable tools in our quest to create a successful business or build a successful career. We understand with customers, potential customers, co-workers and bosses everything still revolves around trust. Social media and the internet have not eviscerated the need for trust. One of the best ways a person can build trust is to be a giver. By being a giver you are acting to help the other person without explicitly expecting anything in return. When we give freely the person feels a sense of gratitude and indebtedness and will typically remember the giver when an opportunity arises where he/she can help the giver. A giver is not acting to further their own interests. Of course we must learn not to confuse a giver with a taker. We must also avoid being a doormat as a giver. An ethic of compassion improves the bottom line Managers often mistakenly believe that putting pressure on employees will increase their productivity. What it does is increase stress and research establishes that high levels of stress cost businesses a lot of money. Stress brings high health care costs and turnover costs. A new field of research suggests that when organizations promote a culture of compassion rather than a culture of stress they may see a happier workplace but also a better bottom line. Positive social interactions have been shown to boost employee health by, for example, lowering heart rate and blood pressure and strengthening the immune system. Compassion can be as simple as recognizing someone’s distress or needs and offering to help. Happy employees also make for improved customer service. They are more willing to help peers and to provide customer service on their own accord. These high quality relationships increase productivity levels as well as their commitment to the workplace. Invite Virginia to speak to your organization to discuss these exciting business developments and to discuss ways to foster a culture of compassion rather than competition.

Are Safe and Caring Communities a Thing of the Past? Absolutely Not!

Compassion connects us together in caring and supportive communities. What is compassion? It literally means “to suffer together” Social scientists define it as the feeling that arises when you witness another’s suffering and feel motivated to help relieve that suffering. Really why do we care if we area compassionate or live in compassionate communities. If we want to thrive and succeed don’t we just need to work harder at our relationships and in the business world. I don’t see where compassion is going to help me personally get ahead. I’m Ok talking about compassion in church and I do some volunteer work to help those less fortunate. Why should I do more than that? Well it turns out that being compassionate is good for your personally There are proven health benefits, psychological benefits and it leads to and increases happiness. We all make excuses. Well I don’t know how to be compassionate. I just don’t have time or I don’t feel like being compassionate. There are very simple exercises you can do that will increase your ability to be compassion and you’re your well being and happiness. Compassion training has been shown to work to increase compassion in children and other groups. Self compassion is also important to our happiness also. Self compassion is a tendency to be caring and understanding with one’s self rather than being critical and judgmental. Research suggests that people who are self compassionate enjoy better psychological health than others. The same can be said of it effect on communities. On a biological level behaviors like compassion and kindness are actually conducive to human survival and essential to human flourishing. There is an entire body of research that supports these and other interesting findings about compassion. We can learn to be more compassionate and improve our psychological well being, our physical health and increase our happiness. The bottom line is that Compassion is good for us, our families and our communities. Virginia, based on  her personal experiences and scientific research,  offers practical and simple tools for building compassionate families and communities.