“Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend,” said Dr. Seuss.
What if that best friend is you?
Easier said than done, you may be thinking.
Here’s some good news. According to researchers (1, 2), just three things can spark compassion for your dear self:
- Offer non-judgmental understanding to your pain and perceived failures (self-kindness)
- Recognize that NO ONE is perfect (we’re all human)
- Validate your painful and conflicting emotions without clinging to them (mindfulness)
Plot twist: With self-compassion, you are gently led to what New Year’s resolutions try to accomplish in the first place:
- More happiness; less anxiety, depression, and stress (1)
- Increased productivity and mental strength (1)
- A better quality of life (3)
Is there science behind self-compassion and health?
You bet there is.
Research shows that those with higher self-compassion have reduced markers of stress! (4) Meaning, with self-compassion you may experience fewer effects of stress—headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, and feelings of anxiousness and sadness—not to mention the toll on your body and overall health. (5)
Compassion for Your WHOLE Self: Mind, Body, and Microbiome
Holistic self-compassion extends to your whole being—or as we like to say, your mind, body, and microbiome.
We start with the mind, because the way you relate to yourself is the way you show up in the world.
When your mind relates to yourself in a healthy way, you shift from fight-flight to rest-digest, which helps you better take care of your body (say buh-bye to unattainable cultural expectations and judgements).
Your microbiome is essential to the connectivity throughout your body. When you take care of your gut, your body is nourished, your immune system is supported, and your brain is balanced.
There’s no secret sauce—what keeps you healthy today is what has kept humans healthy for millennia.
Keep it real, keep it simple:
- Enjoy the sunshine
- Connect with nature and with others (off screen)
- Move and rest your body
- Nourish yourself and your microbiome with whole plants
As you deepen your connection with your wholeness, it ripples out to benefit the greater community: you do for others what you do for yourself.
Start with self-compassion and see where it leads you. Imagine the healing that could happen if we were ALL our own best friends. Now that is a resolution worth making!
Looking for truly holistic solutions for your whole self? You’ve come to the right place.
For The Biome treats you as one interconnected entity to have the most profound impact on your health and well-being—mind, body, and microbiome.
You don’t have to choose between holistic solutions and scientific proof. See how you can finally get both, here.
1. Misurya, I., Misurya, P., & Dutta, A. (2020). The effect of self-compassion on psychosocial and clinical outcomes in patients with medical conditions: A systematic review. Cureus, 12(10), e10998. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10998
2. Neff, K. D. (2003). The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and identity, 2:3, 223-250. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298860309027
3. Seppala, E. (2014, May 8). The Scientific Benefits of Self-Compassion. Stanford Medicine: The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/the-scientific-benefits-of-self-compassion-infographic/
4. Breines, J. G., Thoma, M. V., Gianferante, D., Hanlin, L., Chen, X., & Rohleder, N. (2014). Self-compassion as a predictor of interleukin-6 response to acute psychosocial stress. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 37, 109–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2013.11.006
5. Pietrangelo, A. (2020, March 29). The Effects of Stress on Your Body. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body