My religion is kindness. ~ The Dalai Lama

I recently read, and tweeted about some interesting research (Neff, 2009) linking self-compassion to increased happiness as well as having an influence on lowering depression and anxiety. In thinking about self-kindness and self-compassion, I would say that I’ve noticed many of my own patients sorely lacking in this department. Okay, let’s admit it we can all use some improvement in that area. We often are much kinder and more understanding to our friends and family, then we are to ourselves.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that new moms can be so loving toward their baby, yet lack compassion for themselves. Women who feel a sense of accomplishment from checking things off their “to do list” are at particular risk. As most of us experienced moms know, it’s hard to get any tasks accomplished when you have a new baby. In fact, oftentimes new moms find it difficult to care for their own simple needs.. sometimes even to find time to shower and eat a meal.

Despite their exhaustion and the demands on new parents, many new moms criticize themselves for not keeping up with their bills, sending out thank you cards or birth announcements promptly, or keeping up with laundry and housekeeping chores. All too often, I observe my patients being self-critical and perfectionistic. It’s important for new moms to be gentler with themselves and to keep their expectations low. Whether my patients are receiving treatment for postpartum adjustment problems, depression or anxiety disorders, many of my patients would benefit from self-compassion and kindness.

Are you looking to reduce your anxiety and/or depressed mood? Practice self-compassion & self-kindness.

As in the above mentioned quote by The Dalai Lama, kindness is a much needed virtue. However we have to remember to be kind to ourselves as well as to others.

 

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~ by ppdsus on July 14, 2011.

3 Responses to “My religion is kindness. ~ The Dalai Lama”

  1. This is so wonderful to read Susan, thank you. I also feel strongly about being kind to ourselves when suffering with PND (and for everyone at all times, of course), this is definitely the biggest lesson I have learnt from having PND. It was only when I stopped criticizing myself and went a bit easier on myself and learnt to not try and be a perfectionist about everything that the PND has eased off and I managed to get out of the self-hatred/controlling spiral. Obviously it is all a learning and not completely solved overnight but what a wonderful realisation. I look forward to reading more of your posts…x

  2. Thanks Charlotte. I’d love to post your comment if it would be all right with you.
    Best to you, Susan

  3. Hello Susan, yes no worries that is fine by me. All the best, Charlotte x

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