Research indicates that cultivating self-compassion can contribute to beneficial physical, emotional-mental, and interpersonal changes, such as:
- Modulates hormonal functioning, especially of oxytocin and cortisol
- Reduces the intensity and frequency of negative and chronic stress reactions
- Copes with difficult emotional experiences
- Moderates depression and anxiety
- Increases emotional well being
- Mitigates negative thinking, including rumination
- Improves interpersonal relationships
- Enhances patience, generosity, gratitude, acceptance, humility, openness, and gentleness
--From the Chopra Center
Excerpted and edited from "A Fearless Heart" by Thupten Jinpa, PhD:
1) ... self-compassion is totally different from narcissistic self-absorption. Truly self-compassionate people take care of themselves while being attentive to the feelings and needs of those around them.
2) Self-compassion should not be confused with self-pity, either. ... Self-pity is a form of self-absorption, whereas self-compassion allows us to see our difficulties within the larger context of shared human experience.
3) Self-compassion is not self-gratification. ... Self-compassion is not an impulse to "treat ourselves," though sometimes, mindfully and upon reflection, we may decide to have a treat.
4) ...self-compassion is not the same as self-esteem. With self compassion, we relate to ourselves, especially our struggles and failures, with understanding, kindness, and acceptance. ... Self-esteem is self-regard based on self-evaluation.