I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for some time but got waylaid I’m afraid but here it is at last. BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind programme (recorded last year) had an interesting segment about compassion training. In it they discuss recent research which shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. Helen Weng, the researcher, describes how they had participants build compassion with different categories of people, first starting with someone whom they easily felt compassion for, like a friend or family member and then building up ‘strength’ until they practiced compassion for someone they actively had conflict with called the “difficult person,” such as a challenging co-worker.
Here’s the link to the programme …the segment on compassion starts at about 21 minutes in.
If you want to try the compassion practices they used in the research click here to go to the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds where you can access the Compassion Training Audio Downloads that were used in the research.
Whilst there was some demonstrable effects on behaviour and activation in relevant brain areas Helen Weng does caution that to maintain your compassion you need to keep practising (bit like building muscles except this time it’s a compassion muscle).
Next blog I’ll let you in on some recent training I had with Bangor University in mindfulness based cognitive therapy for cancer. Wonderful experience even though it was challenging at times! I picked up some short practices that you might find really useful…more in a later blog.
Finally, DATE for the Diary: I’ve fixed a date for my self-compassion workshop. It will be in Chester on Saturday 19th July, more details to follow. Numbers will be limited to 10 so if you are interested do contact me and I will put your name on a list so that you get first refusal before I advertise it more widely. And don’t forget when booking opens any current subscribers to my blog will receive a discount on the workshop fee!