Self compassion: Why it is important
We are moved by
the pain of others, we feel the pain of others, we take the time and effort to
comfort those in pain. That’s human nature.
Now, take time to
think for yourself -- how would you respond if you were having a troublesome
day or if things were not going the way you had planned them to be.
Will you offer the
same amount of care to yourself?
compassion for self -- kindness, care, and understanding directed towards
ourselves when we make mistakes, or face a failure.
It is the
acknowledgement of our own pain. It is an admission of the fact that we are
after all human and that we will also encounter difficult situations.
It is not uncommon
for many to reject the idea of self-compassion, believing that having
compassion for self just leads to a practice of legitimizing poor behavior or
engagement in unnecessary indulgences.
on self-compassion has unearthed a wealth of evidence refuting that claim.
In fact, there are
many benefits to practicing self-compassion.
Some tips for practicing
your pain: Notice when you
are hurting, and allow yourself to mourn the fact that you are not perfect.
Resist the temptation to pretend like nothing is wrong or that your feelings
a new perspective: View
the world through the lens of a best friend or a person who cares deeply about
you. When you’re tempted to be self-critical or judgmental, try to speak to
yourself as someone who cares about you would. Think about what they might say
to encourage and comfort you.
● Practice: Being self-compassionate is not an
innate quality, and it may or may not have been a skill that we learned from
our parents. But as adults, we can choose to practice this skill until it
becomes a second nature to us. Take five minutes at the end of each day and
write about the worst thing that happened to you during the day. Here is the
twist. Pretend that you’re writing about it from the perspective of someone who
cares deeply about you. Research shows that participants reported experiencing
a greater sense of happiness after just one week practicing it. All it takes is
a few caring moments a day, and they can work wonders.
So, what distinguishes people with
self-compassion from those who don’t?
Compared to those who try to use guilt, shame, or fear as motivators to
complete a project or goal, the self-compassionate people spend less time
dragging their feet when it comes time to performing a task.
re-engage after failure:
They accept a perceived or real failure readily, but begin being caring towards
themselves and therefore, are much more likely to get back on their feet much
quicker and move on.
believe in being more accountable:
Contrary to popular assumption, self-compassion does not relieve a person of
the ownership of a problem. Rather, it actually serves to assist them to make a
more realistic assessment of their own role in perpetuating the problem.
are open to feedback: They
do not feel threatened by others’ feedback about them. This is because those
who practice self-compassion are confident of their ability to take a negative
feedback in their stride and go on to recover from its ill-effects.