The Compassionate Mind
Throughout history, people have sought to cope with a life that is often stressful and hard. We have actually known for some time that developing compassion for oneself and others can help us face up to and win through the hardship and find a sense of inner peace. However, in modern societies, we rarely focus on this key process that underpins successful coping and happiness and can be quick to dismiss the impact of modern living on our minds and well-being. Instead, we concentrate on ‘doing, achieving’ and having’. Now, bestselling author and leading authority on depression, Professor Paul Gilbert explain how new research shows how we can all learn to develop compassion for ourselves and others and derive the benefits of this age-old wisdom.
In this groundbreaking new book, he explores how our minds have developed to be highly sensitive and quick to react to perceived threats and how this fast-acting threat-response system can be a source of anxiety, depression, and aggression. He describes how studies have also shown that developing kindness and compassion for self and others can help in calming down the threat system: as a mother’s care and love can soothe a baby’s distress, so we can learn how to soothe ourselves.
Not only does compassion help to soothe distressing emotions, it actually increases feelings of contentment and well-being. Here, Professor Gilbert outlines the latest findings of the value of compassion and how it works, and takes readers through basic mind training exercises to enhance the capacity for, and use of, compassion.