In today’s blog I would like to share with you two benefits of self-compassion. Let’s start off by defining the meaning of compassion and self-compassion. Compassion means being sensitive to the experience of other people’s suffering, which results in us experiencing a wish to show kindness and help alleviate this suffering. Self-compassion is compassion directed towards ourselves. Thus it means that when we are going through a difficult time, when we are suffering or when we make mistakes, we are self-compassionate when we can find ways to be kind to ourselves.
- We can see ourselves as human beings that make mistakes:
When we lack self-compassion, every time we make a mistake, we may tend to find ourselves criticising ourselves, feeling as though we are failures or a disappointment, and harshly judging ourselves. Being kind to ourselves in such situations, on the other hand, can help us take responsibility if any of our actions may have contributed to the situation to not work out the way we hoped for, but it also allows us to look at ourselves with warmth, and sympathy. It is the process where we speak to ourselves in a benevolent and encouraging way, rather than in a punishing and disapproving tone. Sometimes we may not be aware of the way we speak to ourselves in a difficult situation, but it might help to notice it and correct it if need be. In their article, Neff and Germer (2017) suggested to speak to ourselves the way we would if someone we care about makes a mistake. What would you say to your loved one? How would treat them?
2. Improved mental health:
Numerous research studies show that when we can show ourselves some compassion and kindness in difficult moments, we may also benefit from better mental well-being. Research found higher levels of happiness, optimism, life satisfaction, body appreciation, belief in one’s self, higher motivation, and lower levels on depression, anxiety, stress, body shame and fear of failure, in persons who can be kind to themselves in difficult circumstances (Neff & Germer, 2017).
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.