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Mindful : August 2015
SELF-COMPASSION HELPS TEEN GIRLS Many studies say that cultivating an inner voice of kindness helps adults to flourish. Two new studies suggest that self-critical teenagers can also benefit from a dose of self-compas- sion—and this might be especially true for girls. In the first study, Karen Bluth and Priscilla Blanton found self-compassionate traits in teens were associated with higher life satisfaction and lower perceived stress and negative feeling. But they made the biggest difference for teen girls, who felt significantly worse and more stressed out than boys, and were much less kind to themselves. But is self-compassion the cause? A second study by Sarah Marshall and colleag ues surveyed more than 2,000 ninth graders in Australia, measuring their self- esteem, self-compassion, and mental health. They went back to the same students a year later, asking similar questions. While both self-esteem and self-compassion on their own were associated with improved mental health in 10th grade, the researchers found an interesting interaction: High self-compassion seemed to protect against the harm- ful effects of low self-esteem. Sometimes you just can’t decide if something’s groundbreaking or totally bon- kers. Our jury’s out. What’s your verdict? “MEDITATION WOMBS,” or sensory depriva- tion tanks—in which people sit immersed in salt water deprived of light and sound— are making a comeback as popular fixtures in startup offices for increasing creativity and productivity. ORGASMIC MEDITATION, or OM, involves slow and steady stimulation of a woman’s clitoris, and has been around for almost a decade. There are even OM conferences. HUMAN NESTS, like a bird’s nest, complete with large egg-shaped pillows inside a wooden frame, are a “fusion of furniture and playground” designed for “breeding new ideas.” They do look comfy... 12 mindful August 2015 what’s new PHOTOGRAPHBY©ISTOCK.COM/PEOPLEIMAGES Research items compiled and written by Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley, with contributions from Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, and Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical School. CRAZE OR CRAZY