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The Science of Compassion Speech

The Science of Compassion: A Modern Approach for Cultivating Empathy, Love, and Connection

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Publisher's Summary

Breakthrough science and practical tools for cultivating compassion.

Why is compassion so powerful? Like many forms of spirituality and meditation, compassion practice has been shown by research to enhance your health, psychological well-being, relationships, and sense of purpose. "The unique quality of compassion," teaches Dr. Kelly McGonigal, "is that its benefits extend to the one who offers it, the one who receives it, and all those who witness compassion in action."

With The Science of Compassion, this acclaimed researcher presents a practical workshop to help you understand what makes compassion work - and how you can cultivate it in your life.

The Power of Choosing Compassion

Compassion can be a difficult choice to make - after all, why would we deliberately choose to add another person's pain to our own? "Not only does our compassion ease the suffering of others," teaches Dr. McGonigal, "Our brain, heart, and entire physiology are tuned to support us when we make the courageous decision to be compassionate." In this seven-hour training intensive, she provides invaluable tools and guidance for overcoming emotional fatigue, empathic distress, self-judgment, and other obstacles that can keep us closed down and afraid to reach out.

"Compassion is an embodied state that prepares us to take positive action," says Dr. McGonigal. Here is an audio course filled with cutting-edge science, inspirational stories, and research-based practices to help you build your capacity for generosity, empathy, and kindness - and become a compassionate force in the world.

©2016 Kelly McGonigal (P)2016 Sounds True

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    Svein Olav Nyberg Grimstad, Norway 16/04/2017
    Svein Olav Nyberg Grimstad, Norway 16/04/2017 Member Since 2017

    Apeiron

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good information"

    Good information from science and Buddhist practice about how compassion interweaves with so many other positive traits. The meditation instructions were not so good imho, especially in the instruction to breathe INTO the heart rather than THROUGH it leaves the meditator filling his chest rather than his abdomen with air. But by avd large, this book was mainly about the positives and the science, and I recommend it to my friends.

    Her voice was pleasant enough to listen to, but vocal fry killed the performance, and I had to work hard to dissociate the sound of Kardashians. Sorry Kelly, if you read this, but I hope you take it as encouragement to do something about it, rather than a disparagement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    09/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life-Changing"

    This is probably one of the most powerful and life-changing books I have ever listened to on Audible. I have felt more connected to others since I began listening to it. I have experienced an increase in self-compassion, an increased sense of well-being, and an overall sense of equanimity. It has enriched my life. A heartfelt thanks to Kelly McGonigal for another excellent book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Eric Quentin Cushman
    09/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Great Book by Kelly McGonigal"

    Again Dr. McGonigal has melded the wisdom of the East with current advancements in neuroscience. I am grateful.for the tools she provides to the seekers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret E. Hess
    08/05/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Want 2 know the particular hormones of compassion?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Science of Compassion the most enjoyable?

    This book gives significant scientific backing to the benefit of being more compassionate for the purpose of helping. (In one study people were actually less altruistic when paid for their empathic responses.)


    What other book might you compare The Science of Compassion to and why?

    Into the Magic Shop maybe because of the way it makes Science so fantastic and some of the subject matter.


    Which character – as performed by Kelly McGonigal – was your favorite?

    herself


    What did you learn from The Science of Compassion that you would use in your daily life?

    Most interesting to me is that health benefit really seem to abound when we think about compassion. In fact, by simply meditating compassionately (thinking of a loved one while focusing on the physical heart), boosts dopamine which is our hormone that makes us feel something good will come of this. Also, meditating compassionately increases for just 5 minutes the antibody SIGA (which increases when you hug people) by 240% and the SIGA antibody lasts in us 1-5 hours. In fact, a study was done where participants snorted the cold virus and with just five minutes of compassionate thinking, they were significantly less likely to get sick.<br/><br/><br/>But by far the most interesting anecdote I found was about progesterone, the recovery and strengthening hormone. According to a study of 1,000 adults in a Buffalo New York study, care-giving and volunteering protects us from mortality and illness. So our longevity improves dramatically when we care.


    Any additional comments?

    At least so far, McGonigal's research seems to focus on compassion in a way that side steps the use of the term “self compassion.” The thing to remember here, I would suggest, is that compassion and self compassion are really the exact same thing. It can be complicated to think about, especially because compassionate acts with self serving purposes can have the adverse affect. But we must know that there is the such thing as legitimate intrinsic honest to goodness self compassion that is not greedy at all and by virtue of its nature, it has a ripple effect. After all, compassion heals suffering and all suffering is connected.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kathryn H
    Atlanta, GA
    08/02/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "Perfect listening experience"
    What made the experience of listening to The Science of Compassion the most enjoyable?

    I'm really happy I opted for the audio version of this book given all the questions to ponder and meditations. Reading a meditation and then trying to do it vs. closing your eyes and having someone guide you are two totally different experiences. I also found the research she presented fascinating.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Calum
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    17/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book on compassion, compassion meditations"

    Innovative research, plus thought and heart provoking exercises and stories. Many meditations to help build your self and other compassion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jared Asch
    14/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Helpful but academic"

    I read this to improve myself as a dad and husband. It was helpful but a bit academic on the topic. It has helpful meditation tools and some good stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • swissiemiss
    02/05/17
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    Performance
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    "Practical and inspirational"

    McGonigal weaves together the science and soul of Compassion training, by shedding light on human psychology through studies and individual experiences. Her voice is incredibly clear and comforting as she walks the listener through both the academics and practices within. This is a book I am sure to listen to periodically, and will purchase the printed version as well because it is so incredibly rich.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Valentin Mendez Rodriguez
    30/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, scientific and enjoyable"
    Would you listen to The Science of Compassion again? Why?

    Yes, it is full of scientific information and it contains inspiring stories


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book is presented in an easy to understand fashion, and includes a loto of important scientific data to understand the basis of compassion.


    What about Kelly McGonigal’s performance did you like?

    Kelly has the amazing skill to be clear, simple and deep at the same time. Her voice reflects her love for science and her humanity.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Noup. I prefer to listen this books in different moments, so I can reflect upon the data and also memorize some info for my work as Compassion teacher.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sean A. Conley
    Afghanistan
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "science doesn't belong in the title"

    Science is either improperly represented or not used to back any assertion made in this book. The handful of "studies" presented in this book do not show causation but merely correlation and the majority of the author's evidence for her claims are generally anecdotal stories. She attributes many claims to spiritually and even at times to God.

    The narration although not the worst thing in the world reads most statements as questions or sound as a new world guru. Again, not suitable for a title claiming to represent any form of science or serious study.

    Basically this reads and sounds more like a self help book, not a collection of studies that show causal effects or reason towards compassion. If you choose to purchase this book anyways, be prepared to meditate with the author over and over again as she'll ask you to do over and over again.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful

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