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Self-Compassion Helps You Deal Better With Negative Events

When a multitude of disasters arise, as they tend to do from time to time, why do some patients focus on the negative -- exaggerating their problems and their part in them -- while others deal with their problems more constructively? A new study reveals that it all depends on the amount of compassion a person has for himself or herself.

Researchers conducted five studies to measure the emotional and cognitive processes behind self-compassion (encompassing self-kindness, common humanity and mindful acceptance) and how these people handle the negatives life throws at them, like receiving hurtful feedback from another person or recalling negative experiences.

For one, self-compassionate people reframed their perception of events, enabling them to respond compassionately no matter how badly or well things happened. Moreover, the ability of a patient to possess self-compassion allows them to accept the responsibility for a negative experience and bounce back better from it.

Self-compassion is very important for folks with low self-esteem, and it can protect them from the remnants of negative events better, in some cases, than does self-esteem.

The trick is to manifest healing in your life, and there's no better tool to help you build it than the Emotional Freedom Technique, the proven energy psychology tool used daily in my practice.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 5, May 2007: 887-904

Duke University May 14, 2007