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7 Ways to Cultivate Compassion

Research shows helping others improves overall mental well-being

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— Todd Warnock/Corbis

3. Mindful dialogue. Although silence may at times be golden, sometimes it's necessary to speak up, especially when conflict is brewing. The trick is to pause before responding in the heat of the moment. Pausing allows us to reflect on the real emotion behind our anger or distress. Are we reacting out of fear, pain, insecurity — or do we genuinely disagree? Here, too, self-knowledge rules. When we're mindful of our emotional hot spots, we're less likely to fly off the handle. Then we can have our say — without casting blame or putting others down.

Next: A little forgiveness goes a long way. >>

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