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Inspiration for Kindness to Oneself 

Because it stimulates the caregiving system and deactivates the danger system (which is linked to insecure attachment, defensiveness, and autonomic arousal), Gilbert and Proctor (2006) argue that self-compassion is a source of emotional resilience (associated with feelings of secure attachment, safety, and the oxytocin-opiate system).

According to research by Rockcliff, Gilbert, McEwan, Lightman, and Glover (2008), this is true: having people engage in a short self-compassion exercise reduced their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Additionally, it raised HRV, which correlates to enhanced coping mechanisms under stressful situations (Porges, 2007). 

In addition, some studies have found evidence linking self-compassion to the attachment system. Self-critical persons, those raised in dysfunctional homes, and those with insecure attachment styles are more common than self-compassionate people are (Neff & McGeehee, 2010; Wei, Liao, Ku, & Shaffer, 2011).

Lower levels of self-compassion are also linked to experiencing emotional maltreatment as a child (Tanaka et al., 2011). Individuals who have experienced abuse as children and have developed a capacity for self-compassion are better equipped to manage their emotions in the face of adversity (Vettese, Dyer, Li, & Wekerle, 2011).

This association persists even after controlling for factors including prior maltreatment, present distress, and drug addiction, showing that self-compassion is a key resilience element for people seeking treatment for past trauma.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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