Practicing self-compassion during distressing moments can have positive results on the brain and body, in response to research from The University of Queensland.
Ph.D. candidate Jeffrey Kim stated the findings have been vital in the present climate, with many people experiencing frustration and setback because of COVID-19.
The UQ Faculty of Psychology-led study included researchers from Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Analysis and the UK’s Compassionate Mind Foundation.
The experts looked at the impacts on the brain and body when people had been either compassionate or critical about themselves. The research is featured in Scientific Reports.
Study contributors undertook Compassionate Mind Training for two weeks, and have been then tested for any impact on their bodies’ responses.
“Cultivating compassion resulted in an increased parasympathetic response, which is excellent—having low HRV or low parasympathetic activation isn’t ideal for physical and mental health,” Kim mentioned.
“Further, individuals who began the trial with lower resting HRV engaged more in the intervention, possibly as they derived more advantages, both self-reported and physiologically, from engaging in compassion.
“So, if someone is crucial for themselves for not being able to ‘hold all of it collectively’ through the pandemic, then engaging in compassionate practice shall be beneficial to their mental health.”
The Compassionate Self exercise is free online and merely takes 15 minutes to complete.