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Mindful Self-Compassion: How it Can Enhance Resilience

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... It seems that the internal resources in question play a supporting and reinforcing role for each other. At the same time, research indicates that both self-compassion and psychological flexibility may be predictors of resilience (Shattell & Johnson, 2018), and therefore components of affective (S-C) and cognitive (P-F) nature may somehow affect the expression of behavioural actions (E-R). ...
... It was proven that the level of resources in question is associated with the personality structure (cf. Marshall & Brockman, 2016;Shattell & Johnson, 2018), and the combination of personality traits and level of resources is of importance for the quality of life of an individual (cf. Steenhaut, Rossi, Demeyer & de Raedt, 2018). ...
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Self-compassion (S-C), ego-resiliency (E-R) and psychological flexibility (P-F) are internal resources that enhance quality of life, adaptation and life satisfaction. Despite similar effects, they are vastly varied in terms of specific psychological functions. The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between personality traits and S-C, E-R, and P-F, regarding quality of life, in a Polish sample. 379 participants (50% female, Mage: 29.04) took part in a questionnaire survey. Despite the fact that all three resources correlated with personality dimensions (emotionality, extraversion and agreeableness), it was established that they varied in terms of specific components. Personality facets established 53% of variance explained for S-C, 37% for E-R, and 34% for P-F. Cluster analysis identified three resource-related personality structures that diversified the level of quality of life. It may have implications for the selection of therapeutic tools, where P-F, theoretically referring to the constant readiness to adapt to and interact with the changing environment and least predicted by personality,, seems to be the most accessible and learnable resource, regardless of the personality structure.
... They are both seen as internal resources affecting resilience (Marshall & Brockman, 2016). Psychological flexibility with its cognitive nature and self-compassion with its affective nature influence resilience (Shattell & Johnson, 2018). An increase in resilience may increase life satisfaction. ...
... Self-compassion has been shown to be linked to a range of mental health benefits in non-autistic samples, including higher levels of happiness and wellbeing, better sleep quality, and lower levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and self-harm Cleare et al., 2019;MacBeth & Gumley, 2012;Zessin et al., 2015). Self-compassion has also been shown to positively predict resilience (McArthur et al., 2017;Shattell & Johnson, 2018). People with mental health conditions such as social anxiety disorder, depressive disorders and substance abuse have lower levels of self-compassion (Brooks et al., 2012;Krieger et al., 2013;Van Dam et al., 2011). ...
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Self-compassion is a gentle way of relating to oneself, linked to a host of mental health benefits in non-autistic people. Although many autistic individuals report high anxiety and depression symptoms, no research to-date has examined the self-compassion experiences of autistic individuals and determined if self-compassion is associated with psychopathology. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to address this research gap. The participants (153 autistic and 93 non-autistic adults) completed on online survey and 11 autistic participants were also interviewed. Autistic participants reported significantly lower self-compassion than non-autistic adults, and in both groups, those with higher self-compassion reported higher psychological wellbeing and lower depression symptoms. Demographic predictors of self-compassion were identified. These findings have both clinical and research implications.
... Additionally, the physical health status of an individual, such as suffering from a chronic or acute disease, and lifestyle factors, such as diet and level of physical exercise, can serve as important biologically related predictors of the resilience-vulnerability (Alexandratos et al., 2012;Bremner et al., 2020;Carreira et al., 2018;Goubert & Trompetter, 2017;Pham et al., 2019).While neurobiological factors specific to an individual have been shown to affect the level of resilience-vulnerability of a person, similarly a range of psychological trait-like characteristics have also been posited to play a key role. To name a few, psychological factors like neuroticism (Oshio et al., 2018), attachment style (Atwool, 2006), optimism (Boldor et al., 2012), self-esteem (Johnson et al., 2017), self-efficacy and locus of control (Dunn et al., 2007), mindfulness , self-compassion (Mona & Angela, 2018;Neff & McGehee, 2010), temperament (Condly, 2006), intolerance of uncertainty (Einstein, 2014), and cognitive biases such as interpretation or attention bias (Derakhshan, 2020) can influence resilience-vulnerability. Lastly, in addition to biological and psychological factors, the unique life experiences of an individual also shape the way how individual will respond in the face of present and future stressors. ...
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During the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, empirical efforts in the psychological sciences have been unequivocally focused on understanding the psychosocial impact on resilience and vulnerability. While current empirical work is guided by different existing theoretical models of resilience and vulnerability, the emerging datasets have also pointed to a necessity for an update of these models. Due to the unique features and developments specific to the current pandemic such as the occurrence of repeated collective stressors of varying durations, in the current position paper, we introduce the Wither or Thrive model of Resilience (With:Resilience). It integrates key aspects of prevailing psychological resilience frameworks within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and extends them by (1) moving away from single scale approaches towards a higher-order latent expression of resilience and vulnerability incorporating also non-clinical mental health markers, (2) proposing different trajectories of resilience-vulnerability emerging across repeated stressors over long periods of time, and (3) by incorporating multiple influencing factors including aspects of the socio-economic concept of social cohesion as well as separate mediating processing mechanisms. We propose that With:Resilience will enable a more nuanced approach and appropriate analytical investigation of the vast incoming data on mental health and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we suggest some concrete methodological approaches. This framework will assist in the development of actionable public health guidelines for society in the present and future pandemic contexts as well as aid policy making and the interventional sciences aimed at protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.
... Self-compassion was negatively associated with other constructs identified in the literature including depression (Barlow et al., 2017;Lathren et al., 2019;Raes, 2011) and neuroticism (Pyszkowska, 2020). Also, the positive SCS-Y subscales (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) were significantly and positively associated with resilience and optimism (Mona & Angela, 2018), and significantly and negatively associated with depression, emotion dysregulation, COVID-19 anxiety, and neuroticism. Also, the higher scores on the self-judgment, over-identification, and isolation subscales of the SCS-Y were associated positively with higher scores for depression, emotion dysregulation, COVID-19 anxiety, and neuroticism (Dreisoerner et al., 2020), and they were associated with lower scores on resilience and optimism. ...
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Objectives Empirical research investigating self-compassion is a rapidly developing field, and it is potentially crucial in early adolescence. The primary aim of the present study was to psychometrically evaluate the Persian translation of the Self-Compassion Scale Youth version (SCS-Y) and evaluate its factor structure among young adolescents. The second aim was to explore the buffering effect of self-compassion against the negative effect of difficulties in emotion regulation on COVID-19-related anxiety. Methods: A sample of young students (n = 532; mean age 13.57 years) completed an online survey, which included the SCS-Y, Patient Health Questionnaire, Difficulties In Emotion Regulation Scale, Coronavirus Anxiety Scale, Youth Life Orientation Test, Brief Resilience Scale, and Brief 10-Item Big Five Inventory. First-order (six-factor) confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and bi-factor exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) analysis were used to evaluate the factor structure of the SCS-Y. Results: Results showed that the SCS-Y had very good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha coefficient: 0.88; McDonald’s omega coefficient: 0.90), composite reliability (0.87), and adequate test–retest reliability after 4 weeks (0.60). The first-order (six-factor) CFA and bi-factor ESEM analysis demonstrated the SCS-Y had excellent dimensionality. Further analysis found negative associations between self-compassion with both depression and neuroticism, and positive associations between self-compassion with both resilience and optimism. Moreover, self-compassion moderated the association between emotion dysregulation and anxiety generated by the COVID-19. Overall, the findings indicated that the SCS-Y had acceptable criterion-related validity, convergent validity, and discriminant validity. Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that the SCS-Y is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing the six factors of self-compassion among younger adolescents. Based on the study’s findings, self-compassion appears to be a protective factor against mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic for younger adolescents
... isolation; [39]), and mindfulness (vs. over-identification; [40] associates negatively with self-criticism, which has been found to positively relate to symptoms, such as depression and anxiety; impacting one's competency and life satisfaction [41]. McGowan [42] investigated the properties of self-compassion and inclusion to reduce burnout amongst MHPs. ...
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This research explored the established relationship between environmental support and competency for Mental Health Nurses, intending to investigate whether the tendency to display higher levels of mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion might buffer the effect of a poor environment on competency. One questionnaire was comprised of five pre-developed questionnaires, which included all items examining environmental support, competency, mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion. Mental Health Nurses ( n = 103) were recruited from online forums and social media group pages in the UK. The result showed environmental support related positively to competency. Furthermore, the positive relationship of competency with environmental support was moderated when controlling for compassion but did not with mindfulness and self-compassion, although subscales showed some further interactions. When poor environmental support influences the competency of mental health professionals, compassion and mindfulness-based interactions may have the potential to uphold competency.
... 31 Self-compassion has also been shown to positively predict resilience. 32,33 Self-compassion is related to the construct of mindfulness, but unlike mindfulness, self-compassion specifically relates to how individuals respond to moments of suffering and perceived failure. 34 Self-compassion is also broader in scope than mindfulness, in that it involves the subcomponents of self-kindness and common humanity, which may be especially relevant as a means of downregulating negative affect during moments of stress. ...
Article
Many autistic adults experience poor mental health. Research has consistently shown that cultivating self-compassion is a promising approach to strengthening resilience in nonautistic adults. Self-compassion is a trainable skill that is associated with several mental health benefits, such as higher levels of happiness and well-being as well as lower symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, no studies to date have explored self-compassion in autistic individuals. We suggest that self-compassion may be a relevant target in mental health interventions for autistic adults without severe or profound intellectual disability. Self-compassion may improve mental health in autistic adults through directly modifying emotions (as an emotion regulation strategy) or its interactions with emotion regulation processes. Existing approaches to cultivating self-compassion include identifying and practicing self-compassionate behaviors, using self-compassionate thought records, and practicing self-compassion meditations. Before self-compassion approaches are implemented by autistic adults, it will be necessary to evaluate their role and effectiveness in mental health through carefully designed studies. We suggest that researchers should first study the relationship between self-compassion and mental health outcomes in autistic adults. Once researchers have established the connection, we can then begin to study self-compassion-based interventions for autistic adults. Relevant clinical considerations include identifying the autistic groups that self-compassion practices are suitable for, determining how autistic adults with and without mental health conditions can effectively practice self-compassion (on their own and with the support of clinicians), and evaluating existing self-compassion tools or designing new tools. It is also relevant for future research to identify the enablers and barriers to using self-compassion in autistic adults.
... First, MOM could be used to support student wellness and potentially help with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and self-compassion. 9,10,21 While certainly not a cure-all, supporting MOM in the curriculum and co-curriculum may serve as one option on a menu of supports for students that may be overwhelmed. Such support is consistent with calls for schools to "create a culture of well-being and resilience." 2 MOM also could potentially help mitigate stress related to the educational process. ...
Article
Introduction A range of approaches are needed to bolster the mental health and well-being of pharmacists and student pharmacists. Commentary In recent years, medical and nursing educators have been training students to use mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) techniques such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for mental health, wellness, and greater attention and presence. MOM training should be considered for incorporation into pharmacy education. Mindfulness can be included in the pharmacy curriculum in a variety of ways. These include introducing students to the topic didactically, encouraging and facilitating students to take an MBSR course, workshop, or online self-study, and integrating mindfulness through mindful moments during critical educational activities like product verification and communication assessments. Implications Mindfulness may be a valuable skill for student pharmacists, thus we encourage schools to expose students to the concepts of mindfulness and MOM techniques like MBSR. Additionally, more robust and rigorous research is needed to better understand the effects of MOM in different settings and contexts.
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Decades of research have reported only weak associations between the intakes of specific foods or drinks and weight gain and obesity. Randomized controlled dietary intervention trials have only shown very modest effects of changes in nutrient intake and diet composition on body weight in obese subjects. This review summarizes the scientific evidence on the role mental stress (either in or not in association with impaired sleep) may play in poor sleep, enhanced appetite, cravings and decreased motivation for physical activity. All these factors contribute to weight gain and obesity, possibly via decreasing the efficacy of weight loss interventions. We also review evidence for the role that lifestyle and stress management may play in achieving weight loss in stress-vulnerable individuals with overweight.
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Purpose of this study is to evaluate association of job characteristics or occupational stress with health behavior in hospital employees. Total 687 employees were recruited from a university hospital in Korea and completed a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire includes demographic factors (age, marriage) and job characteristics such as job type, job position, shift work, type of employment. Perceived stress and occupational stress assessed by Korean Occupational Stress Scale were also measured. Outcome variables was bad health behavior such as current smoking, problem drinking, no exercise and insufficient sleep. Multivariate analyses were conducted separately in male and female because of different health behaviors by sex. In male, there was association between insufficient sleep and occupational stress, total score and subscales like job demand, organizational system, and occupational climate. In female, it was observed an association between insufficient sleep and job demand. Irregular exercise was associated with insufficient job control, job insecurity in female. Problem drinking was associated with shift worker. Insufficient sleep was related with stress perception. In conclusion, there are an association between occupational stress and health behavior in hospital employees. (Korean J Stress Res 2016;24:95∼102)
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Purpose: We set out to compare patients' expectations, consultation characteristics, and outcomes in areas of high and low socioeconomic deprivation, and to examine whether the same factors predict better outcomes in both settings. Methods: Six hundred fifty-nine patients attending 47 general practitioners in high- and low-deprivation areas of Scotland participated. We assessed patients' expectations of involvement in decision making immediately before the consultation and patients' perceptions of their general practitioners' empathy immediately after. Consultations were video recorded and analyzed for verbal and non-verbal physician behaviors. Symptom severity and related well-being were measured at baseline and 1 month post-consultation. Consultation factors predicting better outcomes at 1 month were identified using backward selection methods. Results: Patients in deprived areas had less desire for shared decision-making (P <.001). They had more problems to discuss (P = .01) within the same consultation time. Patients in deprived areas perceived their general practitioners (GPs) as less empathic (P = .02), and the physicians displayed verbal and nonverbal behaviors that were less patient centered. Outcomes were worse at 1 month in deprived than in affluent groups (70% response rate; P <.001). Perceived physician empathy predicted better outcomes in both groups. Conclusions: Patients' expectations, GPs' behaviors within the consultation, and health outcomes differ substantially between high- and low-deprivation areas. In both settings, patients' perceptions of the physicians' empathy predict health outcomes. These findings are discussed in the context of inequalities and the "inverse care law."
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The study aimed to investigate the effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions, intragroup interactions, and complex understanding of others. A total of 50 freshmen not receiving any training in meditation intervention were randomly divided into the meditation group (25 subjects) and the control group (25 subjects). The meditation group was implemented with group meditation intervention for 4 weeks, three times a week, about 30 minutes each time. The results revealed that the effect sizes in interpersonal interaction and complex understanding of others in the meditation group were both above 0.8, indicating strong effects. It was concluded that loving-kindness meditation can effectively improve positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and complex understanding of others in college students.
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Stress is a critical problem facing many healthcare institutions. The consequences of stress include increased provider burnout and decreased quality of care for patients. Ironically, a key factor that may help buffer the impact of stress on provider well-being and patient health outcomes—compassion—is low in healthcare settings and declines under stress. This gives rise to an urgent question: what practical steps can be taken to increase compassion, thereby benefitting both provider well-being and patient care? We investigated the relative effectiveness of a short, 10-minute session of loving-kindness meditation (LKM) to increase compassion and positive affect. We compared LKM to a non-compassion positive affect induction (PAI) and a neutral visualization (NEU) condition. Self- and other-focused affect, self-reported measures of social connection, and semi-implicit measures of self-focus were measured pre- and post- meditation using repeated measures ANOVAs and via paired sample t-tests for follow-up comparisons. Findings show that LKM improves well-being and feelings of connection over and above other positive-affect inductions, at both explicit and implicit levels, while decreasing self-focus in under 10 minutes and in novice meditators. These findings suggest that LKM may be a viable, practical, and time-effective solution for preventing burnout and promoting resilience in healthcare providers and for improving quality of care in patients.
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The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests that positive emotions can widen the range of potential coping strategies that come to mind and subsequently enhance one's resilience against stress. Studies have shown that high stress, especially chronic levels of stress, strongly contributes to the development of anxiety and depressive symptoms. However, researchers have also found that individuals who possess high levels of resilience are protected from stress and thus report lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Using a sample of 200 postdoctoral research fellows, the present study examined if (a) positive emotions were associated with greater resilience, (b) coping strategies mediated the link between positive emotions and resilience and (c) resilience moderated the influence of stress on trait anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results support the broaden-and-build theory in that positive emotions may enhance resilience directly as well as indirectly through the mediating role of coping strategies—particularly via adaptive coping. Resilience also moderated the association of stress with trait anxiety and depressive symptoms. Although stress is unavoidable and its influences on anxiety and depressive symptoms are undeniable, the likelihood of postdocs developing anxiety or depressive symptoms may be reduced by implementing programmes designed to increase positive emotions, adaptive coping strategies and resilience. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review was to identify, review, synthesize, and analyze the existing literature addressing compassion fatigue (CF) in healthcare providers (HCPs), with careful attention to provider role and practice area. CF needs to be better understood to identify, prevent, and treat it before it becomes problematic for HCPs. CF is representative of the cost of caring and results in physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms that contribute to the decision of the HCP to leave the profession. Methods: A literature search, guided by search terms related to CF, was conducted using the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and PubMed encompassing publications between 2005 and 2015. The selected literature was then systemically reviewed and synthesized for this narrative review. Results: These preliminary searches resulted in 307 articles, of which 43 met inclusion criteria. These 43 articles were reviewed and reported that CF and related concepts (CF and RCs) were pervasive and affected a wide variety of HCPs working in many clinical settings; however, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists were not well represented. The literature provided information regarding prevalence, risk factors, prevention measures, and symptoms of CF and RCs. Conclusions: While CF and RCs have been explored in a myriad of medical professionals, there is little published regarding APRNs, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. More research is needed to evaluate for the presence of CF in HCPs working in a variety of settings and the degree to which it affects personal and professional well-being, including interactions with patients, patient outcomes, and the quality of professional life. Additionally, as the definition and use of the term compassion fatigue has evolved, a need for a well-developed concept analysis has also become evident. Clinical relevance: A better understanding of current research on CF through narrative review, development of a concept analysis, and further exploration of its impact on HCPs has the potential to improve the overall well-being of HCPs, ultimately leading to better patient care and retention within the profession.
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Mind-body practices that intentionally generate positive emotion could improve health professionals' well-being and compassion. However, the feasibility and impact of clinician training in these practices is unknown. Data were analyzed from 3 online modules offered to health professionals: (a) Gratitude, (b) Positive Word, and (c) Loving-kindness/Compassion meditation. Pairedttests were used to assess pre- to posttraining changes in gratitude (Gratitude Questionnaire), well-being (World Health Organization Well-Being Index), self-compassion (Neff's Self-Compassion Scale), and confidence in providing compassionate care (Confidence in Providing Calm, Compassionate Care Scale). The 177 enrollees included diverse practitioners (nurses, physicians, social workers, and others). Training was associated with statistically significant improvements in gratitude (38.3 ± 4.6 to 39.5 ± 3.3), well-being (16.4 ± 4.0 to 17.9 ± 4.2), self-compassion (39.5 ± 8.1 to 43.1 ± 7.6), and confidence in providing compassionate care (73.3 ± 16.4 to 80.9 ± 13.8;P< .001 for all comparisons). Brief, online training appeals to diverse health professionals and improves their gratitude, well-being, self-compassion, and confidence in providing compassionate care.
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Background: Job stress and burnout are common among healthcare professionals, and nurses in particular. In addition to the heavy workload and lack of recourses, nurses are also confronted with emotionally intense situations associated with illness and suffering, which require empathic abilities. Although empathy is one of the core values in nursing, if not properly balanced it can also have detrimental consequences, such as compassion fatigue. Self-compassion, on the other hand, has been shown to be a protective factor for a wide range of well-being indicators and has been associated with compassion for others. Objectives: The main goal of this study was to explore how empathy and self-compassion related to professional quality of life (compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout). In addition, we wanted to test whether self-compassion may be a protective factor for the impact of empathy on compassion fatigue. Methods and participants: Using a cross-sectional design, 280 registered nurses from public hospitals in Portugal's north and center region were surveyed. Professional quality of life (Professional Quality of Life), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and self-compassion (Self-compassion Scale) were measured using validated self-report measures. Results: Correlations and regression analyses showed that empathy and self-compassion predicted the three aspects of professional quality of life. Empathic concern was positively associated with compassion satisfaction as well as with compassion fatigue. Mediation models suggested that the negative components of self-compassion explain some of these effects, and self-kindness and common humanity were significant moderators. The same results were found for the association between personal distress and compassion fatigue. Conclusions: High levels of affective empathy may be a risk factor for compassion fatigue, whereas self-compassion might be protective. Teaching self-compassion and self-care skills may be an important feature in interventions that aim to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue.
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This article defines the construct of self-compassion and describes the development of the Self-Compassion Scale. Self-compassion entails being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one's experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them. Evidence for the validity and reliability of the scale is presented in a series of studies. Results indicate that self-compassion is significantly correlated with positive mental health outcomes such as less depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction. Evidence is also provided for the discriminant validity of the scale, including with regard to self-esteem measures.
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Objectives: To examine whether employees with differing occupational stress and mental health profiles differ in their self-reported levels of physical activity. Design: Cross-sectional survey data. Method: The sample consisted of 2660 Swedish health care workers and social insurance officers (85% women, M = 46.3 years). Latent profile analysis was performed to identify classes. Between-class- differences in physical activity were tested via χ2-tests and multinominal logistic regression analyses using sex, age, BMI, marital status, children at home, caregiving, and smoking as covariates. Results: Latent profile analysis resulted in a six-profile solution. Two pairs of classes had equal stress levels, one pair with high stress, one pair with moderate stress. Within each pair, one group showed some resilience (i.e. only moderate mental health problems despite high stress or good mental health despite moderate stress), whereas the other did not. The other two classes were characterized by either low stress and good mental health or moderate-to-high stress and elevated mental health problems. Participants who were resilient to high or moderate stress were more active than participants of the corresponding non-resilient classes. Participants with low stress and good mental health reported the highest physical activity levels, participants with high stress and high mental health problems reported the lowest physical activity levels. Conclusions: The findings suggest that physical activity is associated with resilience to occupational stress, and that beyond primary prevention efforts to make work less stressful regular physical activity should be a target variable for health professionals working in the occupational setting.
Article
The relationship between mindfulness and self-compassion is explored in the health care literature, with a corollary emphasis on reducing stress in health care workers and providing compassionate patient care. Health care professionals are particularly vulnerable to stress overload and compassion fatigue due to an emotionally exhausting environment. Compassion fatigue among caregivers in turn has been associated with less effective delivery of care. Having compassion for others entails self-compassion. In Kristin Neff's research, self-compassion includes self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindfulness. Both mindfulness and self-compassion involve promoting an attitude of curiosity and nonjudgment towards one's experiences. Research suggests that mindfulness interventions, particularly those with an added lovingkindness component, have the potential to increase self-compassion among health care workers. Enhancing focus on developing self-compassion using MBSR and other mindfulness interventions for health care workers holds promise for reducing perceived stress and increasing effectiveness of clinical care.
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