Friday, October 11, 2013

Self-Compassion and Life Satisfaction!

"Sanctuary" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
I was reading "Self-Compassion in Clinical Practice" (an article in the JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: IN SESSION) by Christopher K. Germer and Kristin D. Neff.  They describe self-compassion as having 3 core components: self-kindness (rather than self-judgment), a sense of commonality with humanity (rather than the isolation of an overly well defended ego), and mindfulness (rather than over identification, when relating to painful experiences). Their research evidence demonstrated a high correlation between self-compassion and psychological flourishing.  They also noted a reduction of depression and anxiety. After an 8-week training program in mindful self-compassion Germer and Neff found participants demonstrated a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and life satisfaction and a decrease in depression, anxiety, stress, and emotional avoidance. All gains in outcomes were maintained at 6 months and 1-year follow-up.  In fact, life satisfaction actually increased significantly at the 1-year follow-up, demonstrating a willingness to continue the self-compassion practices which in turn enhanced the participants' quality of life over time.  For the exercises used in mindful self-compassion see the resources and handouts on Christopher Germer's website.  Really nice!  I'm thinking the Fun Monday 14 Secrets Challenges will have to include some of these ideas!

3 comments:

janmak said...

Good stuff Lani, thanks. Here is a link to a TED talk by Kirsten Neff titled "The space between self esteem and self compassion". She presents the ides you discuss above and I think worth a listen. I use this as a basis for a session I take on our Pain Management Program which used to be all about self esteem. Kindest Janet

Lani Gerity said...

Here's Janet's link, and as she says well worth the a listen!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4

Amanda said...

Hi Lani, thank-you so much for sharing this. Having grown up in an environment focussed on achievement and filled with sarcasm under the guise of humour, showing myself a little compassion is something I struggle with even decades later. i'm looking forward to working through this. :-)