Listen, we all have our bitchy moments. Some days we’re a little bit more on edge than usual and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all entitled to feel how we’re feeling and it’s really everyone else’s fault for not understanding.
However, sometimes our bitchyness comes at an inopportune time. You may be feeling particularly bitchy as you’re about to walk into a business meeting or as you’re on your way to a date. These are typically really bad moments to be feeling extra bitchy, so how do you stop it?
Apparently, harnessing one’s chi to be more patient, compassionate and pleasant is actually pretty easy, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this study, researchers asked participants to practice a Buddhist technique called “compassion meditation,” in which they repeated compassion-focused phrases directed at four people—someone they love, someone they can easily be compassionate toward (like a family member), a stranger, and someone with whom they tend to butt heads.
The study took approximately seven hours and in that time, people were more apt to help others they didn’t know. Brain scans even showed that those studied had also become more empathetic, as well.
“It’s kind of like weight training,” says Helen Weng, lead author of the study. “Using this systematic approach, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”
So you’re telling me, all I have to do is talk myself into being compassionate and my bitchy feelings will go away? I’m skeptical, but sure willing to give it a shot.
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