Stress Relief That Lasts
Next time you’re feeling frazzled, try this trick to relax: Be kind to yourself. A new study in Clinical Psychological Science found that practicing self-compassion slowed heart rate and sweating, two symptoms triggered by the body’s threat response that chronic stress can cause. “Being self-compassionate appears to put the body in a state of safety and relaxation, and the dip in heart rate is related to our ability to regulate emotions,” says Hans Kirschner,
Ph.D., study coauthor. Try it for yourself: Take a breather and mentally scan your body from head to toe, bringing awareness to and giving gratitude for each body part and what it does to keep you alive and active.
If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. “We believe everybody can train their own self-compassion like a muscle. The more we train it, the easier it will become,” says Kirschner.