There is a hidden ingredient in wellbeing.
Obtain it, toss it into your life’s mix and you will feel better.
Research shows that with it, you will experience less depression and anxiety. You will be more resilient and at less risk of suffering the ill effects of stress.
I admit however, that I rarely speak of it directly and openly because my own prejudice tells me it sounds too warm and fuzzy to be taken seriously.
To get over my prejudice I spoke with psychologist and former researcher and professor Melanie Greenberg PhD who takes this ingredient – self-compassion – very seriously.
In our early exchanges I admitted to Dr Greenberg that during my years in this field I witnessed a recurring phenomenon. I kept noticing that self-compassion heralded a turning point for people dealing with stress and related challenges. I kept witnessing that when people were truly able to ease up on themselves and treat themselves as kindly as they treated those dear to them, the positive gains they made were striking.
Dr Greenberg was of course not surprised and her article, Why self-compassion helps you meet life’s challenges explains why. She generously agreed to an interview with me and our 20-minute discussion touches on:
- a research study that demonstrates how self-compassion works
- how people (most of us) experience a lack of self-compassion, including the way our inner critic shames us
- the way we can overestimate our control over, and responsibility for behaviours and outcomes
- how useful it is to really understand that ‘your feelings are not you’ and that just because you think something doesn’t mean the thought is true
Dr Greenberg also identifies some strategies to develop greater self-compassion. Click here to listen to our conversation.
Begin to notice how tough you are on yourself (in case you weren’t already painfully aware of it) and have a go at being a little gentler and kinder to yourself – the way you can be with others you care about.
This really is the mindset shift you need. Develop it and enjoy the difference.