Stressed About Final Exams? Try Self-Compassion

In case you missed it, the cameras were rolling at the APS 23rd Annual Convention in Washington, DC. Watch Elizabeth A. Hendriks from the University of Notre Dame present her poster session research, “Self-Compassion Buffers Negative Affect but Does Not Moderate Cortisol Following Social Stress Task.”

Hendriks and her collaborator Michelle M. Wirth measured self compassion, negative affect, and cortisol in study participants who were asked to deliver a persuasive speech to a panel of trained judges. They found that participants who displayed high self-compassion experienced less negative affect than those who displayed low self-compassion.

The researchers also found no correlation between cortisol levels and self-compassion. In other words, high self-compassion had no negative impact on the amount of energy that participants were able to devote to the stressful task at hand.

Based on these results, Hendricks says that self compassion might be a protective factor against disorders like depression and anxiety. So if finals are stressing you out, self-compassion might be just what you need.

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