Cut Yourself Some Slack. It’s Good For Your Health

April 9, 2014 7:57 am 1 comment

It’s possible that Relaxeverything that goes wrong is not your fault, but even if it is your fault, you might think about forgiving yourself. Why? Because self-compassion, otherwise known as cutting yourself some slack, has been found to be associated with lower levels of stress-induced inflammation. A Brandeis University news release reports that researchers at the school asked 41 people to rank their levels of self-compassion according to their agreement to statements such as, “I try to be understanding and patient toward aspects of my personality I do not like” and “I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.” The participants then took one stress test a day for two days and their levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory agent linked to stress, were recorded before and after each test. After the first stress test, participants with higher self-compassion had significantly lower levels of IL-6. On the second day, the researchers found something unexpected. Those with low self-compassion had higher base levels of IL-6 before the test, suggesting that they may have been carrying the stress they experienced the day before. The bottom line: people with low self-compassion appear to be especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of stress.

1 Comment

  • Even though I like to believe that stress is useful in preparing myself for challenges, unreasonable amounts of stress are still unhealthy on many levels.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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