In societies that encourage us to compete with each other, compassion is often seen as a weakness. Striving to get ahead, self-criticism, fear, and hostility toward others seem to come more naturally to us. Yet researchers have found that developing kindness and compassion for ourselves and others builds our confidence, helps us create meaningful, caring relationships, lowers anxiety and hostility, and promotes physical and mental health. "The Compassionate Mind" reveals the evolutionary and social reasons why our brains react so readily to threats. Because of this tendency, it's easy to slip into anger, fear, and depression, and compassion can be difficult for us. This is not our fault. However, research has shown that our brains are also hardwired to respond to kindness and compassion. Building on this latest research, this book offers many practical exercises to help deepen compassion towards ourselves and others. Far from fostering emotional weakness, compassion subdues our anger and increases our courage and resilience to depression and anxiety. Wisely used, compassion arms us with the strength to pursue genuine happiness, peace of mind, and peace in the world. This book blends compassion focused therapy (CFT), attachment theory, neuroscience, and powerful mindfulness practices to help you develop a compassionate mind, and a better you.
Paul Gilbert, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom and director of the mental health research unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust. He has written over a hundred academic papers and is a fellow of the British Psychological Society.