Self-care through the practice of mindfulness and self-compassion

Self-management of emotions is a complex process that involves the use of various resources from the world of psychology.

In this article, we’re going to focus on two, closely related to each other: mindfulness (or mindfulness, in Spanish) and self-compassion. How do they help us reach a state of emotional balance?

Related article: “The 4 types of Mindfulness and their characteristics”

What is mindfulness?

The term “Mindfulness” has two meanings. On the one hand, a state of consciousness characterized by the fact of focus our attention on the present from a perspective free from prejudices and value judgments, by limiting ourselves to describing and recognizing the existence of thoughts, emotions and feelings that cross our mind.

On the other hand, mindfulness is too much the set of exercises used to achieve this state of consciousness deliberately, through exercises inspired by Vipassana meditation, a thousand-year-old tradition. These are activities that are easy to adopt as a habit and in some cases can also be done by boys and girls, following very simple instructions.

There are many variations and versions of mindfulness exercises, some of which can be performed in a matter of minutes. It is therefore a resource that can easily be integrated into the schedule: after lunch, before going to bed, at work, etc.

But mindfulness is not just a pleasant experience, it is has therapeutic potential; that is why many psychology centers use it to help our patients, and even professionals who participate in workshops and courses in the field of business-oriented training programs.

It demonstrates its usefulness in managing anxiety or excessive pain and in improving interventions to prevent relapse into depression. The key is in how it allows us to “reset” the mind and not feed on psychological ruminations, helping us to dry up the negative thought loops associated with our worries, fears, and obsessions.

    What is self-compassion and how does it influence self-care?

    Many people take for granted that the term “self-compassion” has negative connotations, as if incorporating it into us means living in a bubble based on the comfort of sadness and lamentation over how little we are worth. However, this is a biased view of this phenomenon.

    It is true that in popular culture this term is often used to refer to the stillness of those who assume that he is worth much less than others and therefore cannot expect anything from himself or bring anything to others ( and can therefore only ask, seek the protection of society). Corn in psychology, the meaning of the word self-compassion changes and, in fact, becomes an emotionally beneficial element.

    From this point of view, self-compassion means the mentality of not using problems and crises as a crisis to “crush” us, and on the contrary, to show a degree of understanding with ourselves that we would demonstrate before. someone we see who was wrong, but who deserves new opportunities. In essence, this form of self-compassion means not asking for a much higher degree of perfection and moral cleanliness than we would expect from others for just being us.

    Thus, self-compassion is one of the psychological elements that they help us “dodge” those trap thoughts that predispose us to fall into self-sabotage. It means embracing the mindset that problems and discomfort exist, but that we are not helpless in the face of them and we are not predestined to endure them just for being who we are.

    It is also assuming that it is normal to go through moments of crisis throughout life, and that even in cases where we are primarily responsible for what happens to us badly, we must not let the guilt paralyze us, because even if it seems contradictory, guilt can turn into a refuge that serves as an excuse not to move forward.

    This fits perfectly with the principles of mindfulness; Mindfulness brings us to focus here and now avoiding focusing our attention on value judgments, and emphasizing the ability to understand and describe what is happening at that moment, rather than assuming the role of judge judging the moral aspects of the experience. In this way, we perceive the problems as they are, without “inflating” them by feeding on our fears.

    Are you looking for mindfulness-based psychological support services?

    If you would like to integrate mindfulness into your life, please contact us; a Psychoines we have experts who use mindfulness in both therapy and training sessions for individuals and professionals. You will find us in Barcelona, ​​and we also carry out sessions in online format by video call.

    Bibliographical references

    • Didonna F. (2011). Mindfulness Clinical Manual. Desclée de Brouwer.
    • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness on a daily basis. Wherever you go, you are. Paidós.
    • Magee, JC and Teachman, BA (2012). Discomfort and recurrence of intrusive thoughts in younger and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 27 (1): pp. 199 – 210.
    • Simó, V. (2010). Mindfulness and Psychology: Present and Future. Psychological information, 100: p. 162-170.

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