Research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being 🌿
Specifically, self-compassion is associated with(1):
❤ developing well-being;
🧡 reducing depression and anxiety;
💛 increasing resilience to stress.
Self-compassion has also been shown to be effective in preventing post-partum depression, as well as promoting mother and infant well-being👩👧(2)
Sounds awesome! But what exactly is self-compassion? 🤷♀️
Self-compassion can be simply defined as treating yourself with the same kindness that you would treat a good friend 🫂
A leading researcher in this space Dr Kristin Neff argues that self-compassion is NOT the following:
Unlike these factors, self-compassion is a healthy and objective way to look at feelings and situations, without judging yourself on whether you even deserve compassion or understanding in the first place.(3)
So how can we as parents use self-compassion?
It might be helpful to think of self-compassion as being close cousins to that of mindfulness and acceptance. Seeing what is there, accepting that life as a parent is rarely perfect and that it is ok to have complex feelings, and giving yourself kindness in the face of these feelings 🌿
Unlike judging, avoiding or telling ourselves to snap out of it, self-compassion can go a long way to protecting our well-being in the long-term. In turn, babies and children thrive when they are provided with consistent care from a loving caregiver ❤
Self-compassion is not only good for us as parents, but it is good for children.
(1) MacBeth er al. 2012. Exploring compassion: A meta-analysis of the association between self-compassion and psychopathology. Clin Psychol Rev
(2) Guo et al. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
(3) Neff. Self-compassion is not. https://self-compassion.org/what-self-compassion-is-not-2