Compassion Meditation Training reduces distress of observers in the face of someone in pain

Posted on May 30, 2018

According to Dr Helen Weng (Associate professor of psychiatry at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California), Compassion Meditation increases one's composure in the face of stress. This is especially relevant to health professionals who encounter people who are suffering, as they learn to remain more compassionate and composed under stressful circumstances.

The research conducted compared "compassion" to a muscle, which can be trained and practiced in order for it to grow. Findings suggest that compassion helps to reduce the activation of the brain's Amygdala, which is activated in times of stress and increased arousal. By using eye-tracking methods, research revealed that people who underwent compassion meditation training tend to look at the area with the most suffering, such as the faces of people who are in pain, over other areas of an image.

Compassion helps to increase the time spent on analyzing the situation, and gives us more space to think about the person from his or her point of view. With hopes for a better outcome of the person, our response to a person who is suffering becomes more effective.

Compassion meditation training thus involves directly viewing the area of suffering and at the same time, overwriting the negative emotions we feel with compassion. This provides us with insight towards overcoming the social barriers that people with autism and social anxiety disorders face.

Category(s):Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Meditation, Self-Care / Self Compassion, Stress Management

Source material from Science Daily

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