Stress Re­lief That Lasts

Prevention (USA) - - PULSE -

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.

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