Being Compassionate Toward Others Benefits Your Own Well-Being

Showing compassion toward others is more than a sign of a healthy and positive worldview. It actually benefits the mental and physical health of the person exhibiting compassion. A study from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco found that women who demonstrated high levels of compassion toward others not only had lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, but were also more receptive to social support. This allowed them to more easily handle stress, and to better maintain overall well-being. So in fact, looking outside of one’s self actually benefits the self, and fostering an attitude of compassion toward others may be a way to improve one’s own sensitivity to stress.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Amy

    Amy

    August 20th, 2010 at 4:34 AM

    Don’t you think there are some people who are more inclined to be compassionate toward other people? I know that I have people in my own life who seemingly lack that ability to be concerned about what is going on in others lives or at least they do not have the ability to show that to the people in their lives. I do not even know how to get these people to open up and try to walk a day in someone else’s shoes and truly see what they are feeling.

  • demi

    demi

    August 20th, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    being compassionate is not something that can be acquired but comes from a person’s within,I believe.and that is the reason why we see some people being compassionate and others not all throughout their lives.we do not see a shift very often,do we?

  • ann

    ann

    August 20th, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    so good things do happen to good people after all…This report mentioned here also answers a question I do not know about for quite some time-compassion is decreasing in this world day by day…and so is the mental well-being and satisfaction from one’s life.

  • Kaye F

    Kaye F

    August 20th, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    I know that during the times that I am the most giving and compassionate those are the times that I tend to feel the ebst about myself and that honestly makes me want to do more and more for other people. The more you sacrifice for the good of others then the better you are going to feel and then potentially the more work that you are oing to do to help out other people in the end. I know that there are some people who do not feel like they have the time or the energy to give to others but it is so well worth it to make that kind of time and committment that I highly think that it is something that everyone should give a try.

  • PT

    PT

    August 20th, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Being compassionate means to remain calm and cool and think good. This sure is a good way to keep your temper down and also to control yourself which definitely leads to better mental health :)

  • brandy a

    brandy a

    August 21st, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    you give what you get- that’s enough of a life lesson for me to live by- bad karma gets you nowhere

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