TheScientificBenefitsofSelf-Compassion-150x150

Many of us believe being self-critical and hard on ourselves is a good thing.

We mistakenly think that being competitive and pushing ourselves hard is required for success. Research, however, is proving these theories wrong. Most of us don’t stop to consider whether our self-critical and competitive attitude are helping us achieve our goals. We don’t realize that they are actually standing in our way.

Scientific data shows that self-criticism makes us weaker in the face of failure, more emotional, and less likely to assimilate lessons from our failures. Studies are finding that there is a far better alternative to self-criticism: self-compassion.

Thought the term “self-compassion” may sound like self-indulgence or may feel like a weakness, it is actually the secret to resilience, strength in the face of failure, the ability to learn from mistakes and to bounce back with greater enthusiasm.

Self-compassion involves treating oneself as one would a friend, being more mindful, and understanding our situation in the context of a larger human experience. When we can be more understanding and gentler with ourselves, identify less with the emotions that surround our mistakes, and understand that failure is a normal part of the larger human experience, we become stronger and more successful in the long run.

For a summary of the data and a quick reminder you can keep on your wall or desk, see the info graphic below!

TheScientificBenefitsofSelf-Compassion

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Dr. Emma Seppala

Associate Director at CCARE
Emma Seppala is the Associate Director at CCARE as well as a Research Scientist and Honorary Fellow with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. Her areas of expertise are health psychology, well-being, and resilience. She has examined the impact of meditation on happiness, social connection, and compassion.