How many of us truly feel good about ourselves? It is often the case that in order to feel worthy we need to feel special and above average, or at the very least, “good enough”. This is problematic when it is (by definition) not possible for everyone to be above average! In part for this reason, psychology has moved away from the concept of high self-esteem as being desirable, and has moved towards researching the wellbeing benefits of self-compassion.
What is self-compassion?
One way to understand the meaning of a concept is to consider its opposite. The opposite of self-compassion is being self-critical, which is unfortunately much more familiar to most people. Nonetheless, nearly everyone is familiar with feeling compassion for another living being, whether that be someone we love, or an impoverished community, or animals.
Why Does Mental Health Matter?
This month is Mental Health Month in NSW, with October 10 designated as World Mental Health Day. This initiative aims to improve public awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing.
Why does mental health matter?
One answer to this question could be, “How could it not matter?” As humans, we experience the world around us not only by means of our physical body, but also through our beliefs, perceptions, emotions, spirituality, social connectedness, and more. If we are physically healthy yet all the other components are struggling, our day to day experience of life will not be optimal. Furthermore, decades of research tells us that our physical health and mental health are not independent from one another; they have a bi-directional relationship.