Self-compassion could lead to better health
September 26, 2012 by
Categories: Individual, Self

Article: Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research urges

I ran across this article and was intrigued. Self-care is hugely important in any field, but especially seems to fall to the bottom in helping professions. This means the very people who strive to care for others sometimes neglect to turn that amazing compassion towards themselves.

“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.”

As a newer therapist, I really have had to explore a balance between being compassionate to others and leaving some self-care and kindness for myself at the end of the day. The article also suggests that the reason that holds people back from self-compassion is the fear they will become self-indulgent or that they rely on self-criticism to keep themselves in line. I understand that fear all too well and have skirted the line of feeling selfish and self-care.  It can make what should be normal feel uncomfortable.

This article reminded me of how important it was to treat yourself as well as you do friends and family– it doesn’t just have to impact self-esteem and mood, but health in general.

Main point: you’d give your friend a break, give yourself one too!

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