Atheist Nexus Logo

Self-Compassion Fosters Mental Health

People often think that self-criticism helps to motivate them.

Being kind to yourself is more helpful in reaching goals.

Self-compassion is distinct from self-esteem, a trait that can shade into narcissism. Nor should it be confused with self-pity or self-indulgence. “Self-compassion is treating yourself with the same kindness and care you'd treat a friend,”says Kristin Neff, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the leading researcher in the growing field of self-compassion. People who are self-compassionate avoid harsh critiques or negative generalizations of themselves, and they see their troubles as part of the human condition.

Those low in self-compassion think that unless they are hard on themselves, they will not amount to much—but research reveals that being kind to yourself does not lower your standards. “With self-compassion, you reach just as high, but if you don't reach your goals it's okay because your sense of self-worth isn't contingent on success,”... [emphasis mine]


I respect avoiding self-blame and paying attention to your needs. I'd thought of it in terms of self-nurturing, or not being a martyr. To me it's an issue of authenticity and not buying into oppression. It's rare to have values validated by research.

Tags: kind to yourself

Views: 304

Replies to This Discussion

I use criticism, discipline and kindness to keep myself on track. In that way I get a lot of work done and when things go wrong I know I did my best.

As a teacher, I often journal about interactions I've had with students.  When it is a difficult situation, or one I think could have been handled differently, I try to come up with other responses I could have given.  Sometimes, this confirms that I handled the situation well, other times, it teaches me how to handle similar situations in the future more effectively and with more compassion.  I never thought to apply this to my daily life, which I think is a wonderful idea. 

I agree with you.  We are how we act.  I find that whenever I define who I think I am, it is most often to excuse poor behavior.  For example, "I'm really a nice person" as a response to doing something that was not so nice.  Thanks for the thought food!

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

Nexus on Social Media:

© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service