The Simple Way to Be More Compassionate
Women's Health - 04/08/2013
So your dad’s birthday totally slipped your mind and you haven’t had a chance to call your college roommate to see how her new job is going. It happens—but it may happen less often if you take time to just breathe:Meditating may help make you a more compassionate person, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science.
For the study, researchers from Northeastern University and Harvard University looked at 39 people, 20 of whom were asked to complete an eight-week meditation training program. Ten of those participants underwent a mindfulness meditation program, and the other 10 completed a compassion meditation program. The mindfulness meditation trained people to focus and calm their minds, usually by concentrating on breathing throughout their body. The program centered around compassion included similar techniques, except while breathing, participants were supposed to concentrate on inhaling and exhaling through their hearts—which is supposed to make people more aware of their own negative feelings. These meditators were also taught that everyone feels the same discomfort as them and to take solace in this.