Do you have compassion for yourself???

via: NYTimes

Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family?

“That simple question is the basis for a burgeoning new area of psychological research called self-compassion — how kindly people view themselves. People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising.

The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.

via Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges – NYTimes.com.”

Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others.  Think about what the experience of compassion feels like.  First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering.  If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is.  Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”).  When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way.  Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly.  Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience.  “There but for fortune go I.”

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment? Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness.  Things will not always go the way you want them to.  You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals.  This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life. via http://www.self-compassion.org/what_is_self_compassion.html

We all should learn to give ourselves a break. Now there is research to indicate that it is a step in improving our own health and can even help us lose weight.

There is no excuse not to be good to yourself with these findings. Give yourself some of the same understanding and compassion that you so often give to others…you just may get used to it.

That would a good thing…

About lorettelavine

Wife, mother, grandmother, registered nurse, licensed clinical social worker, blogger. Parent and child advocate, involved in life.
This entry was posted in Self compassion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s