Mindfulness & Compassion 

Mindfulness and Compassion was developed in 2003 by Christopher  K.Germer, PhD and Kristen Neff, Phd; both leading researchers and  therapists in the areas of psychotherapy and mindfulness. 

 

Compassion, also known as self-compassion, incorporates the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, producing a dynamic tool kit for  emotional resilience and stability. 

Mindfulness is the first step, learning to be aware of our moment to  moment experience without harsh self-judgement, allowing  ourselves to be able to acknowledge and give space to our difficult  thoughts and feelings (such as anxiety, inadequacy, anger, sadness  and frustration), with a spirit of kindness and curiosity. 

Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and  feelings with kindness, openness and understanding granting us the  ability to soothe, comfort and reassure ourselves when we are hurt.  Studies suggest learning mindfulness without developing self-  compassion can hinder real meaningful changes. Whilst mindfulness  promotes developing an awareness of how we are feeling in the  present moment, self-compassion allows us to be able to manage  and work with what arises in this new awareness. 

Benefits of increased Self-Compassion

  • More balanced perspective of your unique life. 

  • Less likely to be overly self-critical. 

  • Less likely to be anxious and depressed. 

  • Greater ability to deal with adverse life events. 

  • Less likely to dwell on negativity. 

  • Less likely to be critical of themselves and others. 

  • Greater ability for self-growth, body appreciation and purpose in life. 

  • More compassion towards others. 

  • Increased levels of mental and physical well-being. 

  • An increased sense of self-worth. 

  • Increased common humanity. 

 

 

 

The neuroscience supports learning Mindfulness & Compassion.

Research has shown mindfulness and compassion improves the  brains ability to function, bolstering neuroplasticity (the brains ability  to reorganise itself and create new neural pathways) and shrinking  areas such as the amygdala, the area where our fight, flight, freeze  response originates. There are now a vast amount of studies  supporting the specific positive benefits of compassion practices, showing when we soothe our own pain we are tapping into our  natural care-giving system. 

 

 

 

The areas of the brain most positively affected by the practice of  mindfulness and compassion as seen by micro-imaging scans are:  the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, mid-cingulate cortex,  prefrontal cortex and insular cortex. These areas of the brain are  most involved in our ability to regulate emotion and our emotional responses, form memories, process tactile information, retain and  process complex information and the ability to be aware of our  thinking process (meta-awareness). 

Contact: Sara Copley

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       The Daily Meditation Lab    2019