This week, I have mornings off before my afternoon African dance workshop. ( My workshop, by the way, was KICK BUTT yesterday! I realized that I will have danced a total of 18 hours by Friday. I am already quite sore, and I’ve only done 1 day of the workshop.) Anyways, this morning as I was procrastinating on writing cover letters, I came across an article in the New York Times entitled, “Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges”. The articles looks at an ironic trend: people who find it easy to be kind and understanding of others often don’t demonstrate compassion towards themselves. While they go easy on other people, they don’t go easy on themselves for fear of being self-indulgent. According to the article, research suggests that demonstrating self-compassion can improve health; self-compassion is linked with higher levels of happiness and optimism, while higher rates of self-criticism is linked to a decrease in motivation, particularly around food and fitness. Tara Parker Pope describes, “Imagine your reaction to a child struggling in school or eating too much junk food. Many parents would offer support, like tutoring or making an effort to find healthful foods the child will enjoy. But when adults find themselves in a similar situation — struggling at work, or overeating and gaining weight — many fall into a cycle of self-criticism and negativity. That leaves them feeling even less motivated to change”. The article concludes with a comment that self-compassion is necessary for the success of every diet plan.
What do you think? The article really resonanted with me, a person who is definitely prone to self-criticism. Could it be that I’m missing some self-compassion? Do you buy it?