Self-Love and Stress Relief

Relax


How many times have you said to yourself, you’re so stupid? Or felt self-loathing? Or felt in any other way inadequate or unworthy of love? If you’re like many of us, that number is countless. We are all our own worst critics.

Well guess what? A number of different studies have proven that having self-compassion––forgiving yourself when you mess up, for example, or just accepting yourself for the flawed human you (and all of us!) are––can lead to a reduction in stress.

The fancy name for this is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and it involves both meditation and a paradigm shift in your own self perception. So the next time you mess up, in any way, either at work or at home or with loved ones or friends, make the appropriate amends to those you’ve hurt but also make those same amends to yourself: sit, breathe, tell yourself, “I’m doing the best I can, and sometimes I mess up, and that’s okay. Nobody is perfect, and nobody should be expected to be perfect.”

References

  • Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L. E. (2010). Exploring self-compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 26(5), 359–371. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/smi.1305
  • Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., Robins, C. J., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Mechanisms of change in mindfulness-based stress reduction: Self-compassion and mindfulness as mediators of intervention outcomes. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 26(3), 270–280. Retrieved from https://connect.springerpub.com/content/sgrjcp/26/3/270
  • Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164. Retrieved from https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2005-05099-004