Evidence That It Works
Students who participated in a pilot study of a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program for teens reported decreases in depression, stress, and negative feelings after completing a six-session course. Students in a second study of this program also reported greater resilience, gratitude, and a willingness to take on new challenges.
Why Does It Matter?
As their cognitive capabilities grow in early adolescence, teens become more self-aware and, ultimately, more self-conscious. This can breed harsh self-criticism, so the need for self-compassion among teens is crucial.
When teens face challenges and beat themselves up about them, they can end up feeling even more stressed and isolated. Studies indicate that self-compassion practices may be more effective in addressing depressed mood than strategies like acceptance and reappraisal (shifting your thinking about a negative event).