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The effects of compassion are far reaching and have been shown to have benefits for physical as well as psychological health. A wealth of evidence demonstrates that social support, when humans connect in a meaningful way with other people or animals, helps in the recovery from illness as well as promoting increased levels of mental and physical well-being.

Evidence from studies mentioned in the previous blog suggests that interventions can lead to reduced depressive symptoms and feelings of isolation, improvements in positive emotions, psychological well-being, hopefulness, optimism, social connection, life satisfaction, and, of specific interest to this paper –  compassion.

Such interventions have been found to also impact upon how people behave – increasing pro-social acts and decreasing anti-social behavior.

The Far-Reaching Benefits of Compassion

Furthermore, research by Sara Konrath at the University of Michigan and Stephanie Brown at Stony Brook University shows that a compassionate lifestyle might even increase our lifespan. The reverse is also true, and motivation appears to pay an important part.

It is not sufficient to simply do good deeds; one must do them for the right reason. Sara Konrath’s research also revealed that whilst people who were active in volunteering did live longer than their non-volunteering peers, the impact only happened if their reasons for volunteering were altruistic rather than self-serving.

Barbara Frederickson, Steve Cole and fellow researchers have demonstrated this on a cellular level.  They found high cellular inflammation levels in subjects whose happiness stemmed from a hedonistic lifestyle. Conversely, they found low inflammation levels in people whose lives were enriched by greater meaning and compassionate service to others, including non-human animals.

This suggests, therefore, that developing a sense of eudemonic, rather than purely hedonic, well-being could lead to positive health benefits.

And how may eudemonic wellbeing be achieved? The literature points to the mindful practices and the cultivation of compassion. Compassion, it would seem, is key.

The cultivation of well-being has specifically shown that it is eudemonic, rather than hedonic wellbeing which is linked to a sense of connectedness with oneself, and others. Eudemonic wellbeing implies finding meaning and purpose in life, living in accordance with one’s values and developing a sense of long-term “spiritual” health (not necessarily religious).

In turn, eudemonic well-being may be cultivated through mindful practices such as mediation and compassion training.

Compassion for all Sentient Beings

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A wealth of literature links altruism and spiritual wellbeing and eudemonia. If we can encourage people to develop their eudemonic well-being (not just life satisfaction and short term happiness), they may indirectly develop a sense of compassion – which indirectly may lead to an increased feeling of connectedness with all species, not only their own … resulting in more compassion for all sentient beings – especially animals.

Compassion can help broaden our perspective and redirect our focus way from ourselves. Compassion might boost our sense of well-being by increasing a feeling of connection to others. Social connection helps us recover from illness more quickly, strengthens our immune and even increase our lifespan.

People who feel more connected to others and animals are more empathic and form more trusting and cooperative partnerships.

The converse is also true and low social connection is associated with higher levels of antisocial behavior that leads to increased isolation, and declines in physical and psychological wellbeing.

Cultivating compassion for all living beings and practicing a compassionate lifestyle can, therefore, help boost social connection and also improve physical and mental health. 

Image source: Santuario Gaia

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206 comments on “How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Your Health”

Click to add comment
sarahbarbara175
5 Months Ago

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6 Months Ago

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Sarah
6 Months Ago

URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE-SPELL TO GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK FAST BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
I am Sarah from USA, after 9 years of marriage with my husband,
he divorced me and brought in another lady, i did all i could to get him back
but all proved abortive, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a
website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told
me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me.
28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much,
So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,
and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,
our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided
to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble,
if you are here and you need your
Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now.
Here’s his contact: Email him at: [email protected] ,
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
you can also visit his website: https://unityspelltempe.blogspot.com .


Reply
Sarah
6 Months Ago

Hey,

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After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: [email protected] ,
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Reply
Sarah
6 Months Ago

GET YOUR EX BACK BEFORE CHRISTMAS,URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE-SPELL TO GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK FAST.
I am Sarah from USA, after 9 years of marriage with my husband,
he divorced me and brought in another lady, i did all i could to get him back
but all proved abortive, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a
website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told
me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me.
28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much,
So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,
and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,
our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided
to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble,
if you are here and you need your
Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now.
Here’s his contact: Email him at: [email protected] ,
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
you can also visit his website: https://unityspelltempe.blogspot.com .


Reply
Erica Howard
6 Months Ago


After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster Dr Oriafo that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the Dr Oriafo and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days my ex will come back begging. I thanked him in earnest hoping he will come back to me because I miss him so much.To my very surprise on the 3rd day he came back begging and asking me to accept him back and he will never leave me again. All this would never had been possible but for Dr Oriafo I will always and forever recommend you to the world Dr Oriafo This is his contact below: [email protected] or call +13103599685


Reply
Madeleine Harding
6 Months Ago

I would like a cow to give me a kiss like that! Happiness is loving animals they give me so much joy


Reply
Rei Kokoro
6 Months Ago

But it can kill you in the same way ;)


Reply
Iriana Santana-Poles
6 Months Ago

We as humans can do so much more and we choose not to.


Reply
Billie Jean Washburn
6 Months Ago

Animals have unconditional love for us. It's just too bad we don't return the favor.


Reply


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