(Last Updated On: July 22, 2019)

By now, many people are becoming aware of the increasing importance of dealing with mental health disorders. If you don’t deal with mental health issues, they tend to grow and grow, until they spiral out of control and cause increasingly serious problems in your life.

This is well-known. What’s not always well-known is the importance of a proper mindset when dealing with mental health issues – particularly one of self-compassion. What the Buddhists believe is uncannily relevant in our modern society: people need to practice self-compassion to progress.

    1. What Is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is an all-encompassing belief that you, as an individual, are worthy of compassion. This means that you will strive to be compassionate towards yourself in all of your actions, thoughts, and beliefs.

What does this entail? What even is compassion?

  • Compassion involves looking out for yourself – but not in a superficial way. Compassion requires that you approach yourself honestly and openly with the intention of being as strong and whole as you could possibly be.

  • Compassion involves a good deal of self-love, though the two are indeed separate things.

  • Compassion ensures that you act, think, and speak things that are beneficial for the well-being of those involved – in the case of self-compassion, this would be yourself. 

It doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? Unfortunately, for some people, self-compassion can be easier to understand than it is to put into practice.

    1. Why Does Self-Compassion Affect Mental Health Disorders?

To be compassionate to yourself requires a great deal of honesty, love, and open-mindedness. Some people interpret this to mean that you always view things in a positive light, but this isn’t the case.

Compassion means that you must work in your best interests – and, in many cases, this means that you have to weed out behaviors and instincts that aren’t serving you anymore. This could mean getting into the nitty-gritty things that led to you developing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. 

It can be difficult to want to seek help if you don’t have compassion. However, many people seem to have a confused understanding of what compassion is. Here are some examples:

  • What people often think compassion is, but it really isn’t: “I’m great, I love myself, and I have no mental health problems.”

  • What compassion really is: “I love myself, and it’s important that I check in with my mental health to ensure that I’m really doing okay.”

With a little bit of compassion and understanding, you start to realize that various issues in your life are something that only you can heal. A therapist doesn’t cure you. They teach you what your issues are so that you can heal them.

It’s also important to note that the act of seeking a therapist is, on its own, a great act of self-compassion. It shows that you have a vested interest in improving your well-being and your mental health, and is absolutely a great step on the road to happiness. If you have a more serious mental health problem, or if you’re simply not sure where to start, seeking a therapist online or a counselor in general is a great place to start.