A review of the effect of compassion on mental health: emotion regulation as a possible mechanism of action
This article provides a review of the current state of research on compassion. First, the construct of compassion is addressed from a Buddhist perspective. Second, this article reviews the empirical literature on the relation of self-compassion to mental health, including findings from correlational studies as well as intervention studies. Third, compassion and empathy are conceptually differentiated, providing empirical evidence that supports this distinction. Fourth, the idea is discussed that a possible mechanism of action for self-compassion on mental health may be through improvements on emotion regulation. Finally, it is concluded that research on compassion is still emergent and directions for future research are suggested.
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