The power of being kind to yourself


Isabella Chen, Staff Writer

Starting from a young age, we are told to be kind to others with phrases such as “sharing is caring” and putting others before ourselves. Due to this, we sometimes forget the importance of being kind to ourselves. To love others, you have first to love yourself. 

Psychologists define the practice of being kind to yourself as self-compassion, which is the ability to treat yourself with understanding, patience, kindness, and perseverance. Simply said, it is how kindly you view yourself and can be compared to being the foundation of who you are as a person. If that foundation is not stable, your life can feel shaky. 

Research shows self-compassion is crucial to one’s mental health and contributes to one’s success. The New York Times reported that people who score high on tests of self-compassion are less at risk for developing depression and anxiety while also tending to be happier and more optimistic. They also found that students who place their self-worth on internal habits, such as moral values, are less stressed and perform better academically.

If you’re motivated by self-compassion, then your failures will seem like a learning opportunity rather than evoking feelings of becoming defeated. That push will likely improve your performance while improving your self-compassion at the same time. Optimistically viewing failure can allow you to become more productive, thus being more successful. 

Another benefit is decreased stress. Self-compassion can help bring more powerful feelings of well-being, allowing you to be more confident in yourself and your abilities. Furthermore, self-compassion can lead to resilience, and facing unwanted results builds strength and, ultimately, happiness. It can be achieved through self-kindness, understanding yourself, and being mindful of your emotions while validating them.

Overall, being kind to yourself will have overwhelmingly positive outcomes and can be achieved by first accepting who you are, going easy on yourself, and not comparing yourself to others. Self-compassion has the power of acceptance and growth; how you treat yourself sets the tone for how others will treat you.