Stressed? Of course you are. That said, you can be a better friend to yourself by being a better friend to yourself.
A study published in Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity, found that self-compassion may be helpful in lowering one’s stress. Researchers had forty-one participants rate their levels of self-compassion by ranking their agreement with statements like “I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies”. Then, participants had to take one stress test a day for two days. Researchers also tested their levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory agent linked to stress, before and after the stress test. After the first day, researchers found that participants with higher self-compassion had lower levels of interleukin-6.
On the second day, researchers found that people with lower self-compassion had higher levels of interleukin-6 before their stress tests, suggesting that they were stills stressed from the day before.
According to Nicolas Rohleder, one of the study’s co-authors, “The high responses of IL-6 on the first day and the higher baseline levels on the second day suggest that people with low self-compassion are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of this kind of stress.”
Fortunately, if you are a low self-compassion person, you don’t have to stay that way. There are plenty of things you can do to lower your stress levels and increase your self-compassion. Don’t put it off—take care of yourself today.