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The Power of Self-Compassion

Hey everybody, I hope you're all having a great day!


I am currently undertaking a mental wellbeing plan through university and I wanted to share some of the helpful and interesting information that we came across. 


This information relates to the topic of self compassion vs self criticism. Many of us experience a self critical voice that criticizes our actions and or identity. We often justify this voice as we believe it is needed for us to "become better" or remain productive in today's busy society. However, there is an alternative to this and that is self compassion. You may be surprised to know that there have been studies which have found that those who use self compassion over self criticism are actually more productive and motivated than those who listen to their self critical voice. Although this is not something that can always be easily done and it certainly takes work to break this habit, I hope that perhaps knowing this information can help in that effort Smiley Happy


For those who are unsure what exactly self-compassion is, below is a useful picture describing what it involves. 


And finally a video which explains this far better than I can Smiley LOL

Thanks for reading everyone Smiley Happy

Mind the formatting, this is my first post lol!

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Awesome post @Guitarman97! Self-compassion is such an important and overlooked thing. Often we can be compassionate to everyone but ourselves

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Hey Guitarman97

What a great post! I think you have made some really great points about self- compassion and good on you for engaging with your Universities mental wellbeing plan!

I think self-compassion is super interesting and beneficial. I have been trying to be more mindful the last year or so and I notice that my default is to slip into a critical state, but when I notice and start allowing myself some time off study, extra rest, positive self-talk, etc, this huge weight lifts off and I remember what its like to be compassionate to myself - and the habit grows just that little bit stronger!

I think you bring up another awesome point about the paradox of self-compassion, which is that I have noticed by soothing my negative, inner critic, that is always yelling "BE BETTER", I often find I work and achieve the things that are important to me with more ease and enjoyment, and, more efficiently. Kind of amazing!!!

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Great post @Guitarman97! And your formatting is perfect, I don't think it needs to be any better than that!


I think self-compassion is one of the most important things for your mental health. And I like how being self-compassionate will help you do better than being self-critical. Oftentimes we're a lot nicer to other people than we are to ourselves since we don't have to hear it out loud and sometimes aren't even aware of how mean we sound. I think treating yourself the same way you treat a good friend can also separate you from the situation a bit more and give your more clarity to deal with it. 


Growing up the people around me thought they had to put me down for me to try my best, so as an adult I did the same to myself, thinking it would motivate me to try harder. But it only made me hypercritical of my mistakes and discouraged me from trying. I've found that talking to myself like I would a small child is also super healing. It's really helped my inner child move on from past mistakes and learn that the world isn't waiting for me to fail!


Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

This is such a great post and advice on self-compassion

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

@Lost_Space_Explorer5 @Abderian @November13 @A_Friend Thanks so much, glad you liked it Smiley Happy


@Abderian Super glad to hear your journey with mindfulness and self-compassion has been faring well, thanks for sharing! You make an excellent point about the habit becoming stronger each time you notice its benefits. That's what its all about! The journey and not the destination as they always say. It certainly is amazing that it leads to more efficient work, its great to know that is working out for you also!


@November13 Definitely, great points! The comparison of how we treat ourselves and other people is often the most obvious way to realise how we may be lacking in self-compassion. It is fantastic that you have been able to heal from a more troublesome past Smiley Happy My partner does a lot of inner child work and says the same thing, it certainly sounds like its a great tool to have in the toolbox. 

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Hey @Guitarman97 this is really interesting – what subject/course did you learn this in? Have you learnt any particular tips to help with self-compassion?

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

'We often justify this voice as we believe it is needed for us to "become better" or remain productive in today's busy society.' ... this really spoke to me. Sometimes I feel that if I am not actively doing something then I have let myself and many others down. I understand the importance of mental health and really really care for others, but often I neglect my own. I'm starting to work through that and understand that it is okay if I am not okay.


Awesome post @Guitarman97 , this was really enlightening! Smiley Very HappyHeart

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Hey @celestialdreamer, awesome! I'm glad that you found it interesting. The course is called the Be Well Plan, its an Adelaide based program which was offered through my university to all students. You may find the freely offered Be Well Tracker on the site useful/interesting Smiley Happy. The program is predominately based around mindfulness as studies have shown this to be the most effective approach to improve mental health across the board through these types of courses. In essence, any mindfulness based activity or technique will help a person in being less reactive to their thoughts, take a step back and help integrate self-compassion over the automatic response of self-criticism in tough situations. 


Hey @sunnygirl606 I'm touched to hear that this spoke to you, super glad that you were able to take something from it. Sending you best wishes for your mental health journey, thanks for sharing your thoughts Smiley Happy

Re: The Power of Self-Compassion

Thanks so much for sharing this @Guitarman97!! 


Something I think we all struggle with on different levels and can relate to.. 


Thanks for also sharing the name of the course, I'm also gonna check it out! Not in Adelaide but keen to see what it's all about and see if they run something similar where I live.. thanks for sharing 😊