Self-compassion helps lower cardiovascular risk - study

Women who practice self-compassion have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, irrespective of their blood pressure, insulin resistance and cholesterol levels, according to new research.


The US study of 200 women aged between 45 and 67 by the University of Pittsburgh found that those who scored higher on the self-compassion scale had thinner carotid artery walls and less plaque buildup -- conditions linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes).

The results persisted, regardless of other common lifestyle psychological factors associated with heart disease such as smoking, depressive symptoms and minimal exercise.

"These findings underscore the importance of practicing kindness and compassion, particularly towards yourself," said Rebecca Thurston, professor of psychiatry, clinical and translational science, epidemiology, and psychology at Pittsburgh University.

"We are all living through extraordinarily stressful times, and our research suggests that self-compassion is essential for both our mental and physical health," she added.

Another study shows self-affirmations are also conducive to better mental health and less self judgement.

SA integrative health coach, Laura Johnston, said the pandemic had amplified stress for women in particular, highlighting the importance of more considered self-care, including diet, supplements and quality alone time.

“Self-care is learning to prioritise your physical and mental health. Feed yourself nutritious and healthy food and select high quality supplements such as Felix, with saffron, which helps support cravings and enhances mood, sleep and cognitive health and Purest Omega 3 which delivers a potent dose of healthy EPA and DHA fatty acids to promote brain and heart health.  

“In addition, get enough restorative sleep every day, adopt healthier habits to manage stress such as practicing mindfulness meditation, yoga and self-affirmations, and take time out each day to participate in enjoyable healthy activities,” added Johnston.


By Leap Communications

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