Is self-compassion the latest meme? Well, maybe the term might be, but the ideas are as old and the bible itself. Mark 12:30-31 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
Self-compassion has a similar history as mindfulness in that it has existed in Eastern philosophy for over 2,000 years, but it is a relatively new concept in Western research and practice.
WHAT IS SELF COMPASSION?
Self-compassion is showing yourself positive self-regard. This is interpreted as showing yourself kindness, self-care, and love. Common humanity involves feeling part of a more extensive human experience rather than living isolated and alone. Mindful awareness is used to view perceptions and emotions through an impartial, balanced perspective and not reactionary.
ADVANTAGES OF SELF COMPASSION
Self-compassion enables you to be more resilient through difficult times, such as in times of failure, feeling inadequate, and feeling emotional pain and suffering. At these times, it is easy to get swept up in these difficulties and get a thing out of perspective.
Self-compassion has elements of emotional intelligence and has similar effects to self-esteem. Emotional intelligence embraces negative aspects of oneself, takes responsibility, and does not need to conceal painful truths from themselves to maintain positive self-regard. Therefore, self-compassionate people tend to be more aware and capable of tackling problems. Due to the constant demands of the physical and social environments that some people work in, the ability to address failings, be strong through difficulties, and improve oneself is a valuable skill set for anyone.
TWO PEAS IN A POD
Mindfulness and self-compassion fit together like two peas in a pod to cope with life stresses and make decisions.
Although mindfulness and self-compassion are congruent and both the mind and heart produce behaviours, the two are still uniquely separate concepts. This is because mindfulness is concerned with the functions of “the mind,” and self-compassion is concerned with “the heart.” The heart and mind meet when mindfulness brings awareness, a nonjudging attitude, and reflection, while self-compassion is a caring guide for individuals to integrate needed personal changes while maintaining a positive attitude toward the self.
Sandy Newsome, PhD a staff psychologist at the Counselling Center at New Mexico State University, points out that the integration of mindfulness in relationship to self-compassion in research is in its infancy yet has promising potential.
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