Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? If so, are you mostly compassionate towards yourself or others?
When our loved ones are experiencing something terrible, we rush to help them no matter what. But compassion isn’t just limited to this.

1. Towards Others: This is when we desire to help someone who’s suffering.

2. Self-Compassion: This is when we try to be kind to ourselves, not judgmental. We see our failures as natural and balance our awareness of painful experiences, instead of only thinking about the past.

But is there a relationship between compassion and well-being? If so, how does it work?

This is what some psychologists in The Netherlands tried to figure out. They gave over 300 people some questionnaires to fill out, and made some interesting discoveries.

Both states of compassion are beneficial for our psychological well-being.

Compassion towards others increases happiness, while self-compassion has other good effects:

Self-compassion also helps us become happier, more optimistic, and more satisfied with life.

That means the more self-compassionate we are, the fewer depressive episodes we experience. On the other hand, self-coldness (being too critical of ourselves) has a negative effect on mental health.

Overly self-critical people find it harder to be self-compassionate.

On average, the participants said they sometimes experienced self-compassion, and that it’s usually challenging for them.

Compassion towards others has always been seen as a positive trait and rightly so; but it may not be as socially desirable to feel compassion for ourselves.

However, it’s a healthy way for us to maintain our mental health. It’s good to practice self-compassion- both at times of personal distress and when we’re in less threatening situations.

Doing this allows us to be less judgmental of ourselves, to never feel cut-off from other people, and to become more aware of our well-being.
After all, the more we practice self-compassion, the happier we get!

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