Evidence That It Works
Participants in an eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, which included practicing the self-compassion break, reported feeling greater self-compassion, mindfulness, and life satisfaction at the end of the program when compared to a control group.
Studies indicate that self-compassion practices are a form of self-care that may reduce burnout in adults who work in service-oriented professions like teaching. A review of 22 self-compassion related therapies indicates that self-compassion approaches can reduce both anxiety and depression. In fact, self-compassion strategies may even be more effective in addressing depressed mood than strategies like reappraisal (shifting your thinking about a negative event) and acceptance.
Why Does It Matter?
When we face challenges with students or colleagues, and we beat ourselves up about them as a result, we can end up feeling even more stressed and isolated. A healthier response is to treat ourselves with kindness and understanding, and the self-compassion break is a great way to self-soothe during times of stress at school. In fact, teachers who are more mindful and self-compassionate foster more emotionally supportive relationships with students in their classrooms.
And for those using the practice in higher education, self-compassionate college students are more likely to ask questions, seek help, and participate in the classroom activities.