• Juni 26 2024

Let’s Create Our Happiness:
The Importance of Self-Compassion as a Coping Stress Strategy in Preventing
Drugs Abuse in Indonesia

Author: Fatimah Az Zahra

Education is a crucial element in nation-building because it involves the process of
learning knowledge and skills that can be acquired anywhere. It is accessible to everyone and
can be obtained from anyone. This highlights the fact that everyone has the right to a proper
education, including the opportunity to pursue higher education. Engaging in college activities
provides young people with numerous opportunities to gain valuable experiences, knowledge,
and exposure to various opportunities. However, this path is not without its challenges. While
it opens the door to many positive possibilities, it also presents various negative outcomes,
including the risk of drug abuse.

The pressures of academic responsibilities and organizational commitments can compel
students to become more resilient and adapt to stress. Nonetheless, some students may find
themselves struggling and resort to maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as drug abuse. The
dangers of drug abuse for college students are particularly alarming, given the critical stage of
their personal and academic development. Physically, drug use can severely damage vital
organs such as the brain, heart, and liver, potentially leading to chronic health conditions or
even death. Psychologically, substance abuse can trigger or worsen mental health issues like
anxiety, depression, and psychosis, disrupting a student’s emotional well-being and academic
performance. Socially, drug abuse often results in isolation from family and friends, jeopardizes
relationships, and increases the risk of legal troubles, which can affect future career prospects.
Recognizing these severe consequences highlights the importance for students to avoid drugs
and seek healthier ways to manage the stresses and challenges of college life.

To combat the feelings of unworthiness and prevent suicidal behavior that often
accompany drugs abuse, self-compassion is crucial. Germer (2019), a renowned psychologist,
claims that self-compassion can enhance emotional resilience and psychological well-being.
Individuals who are more compassionate towards themselves are better equipped to deal with
stress and negative thoughts, which are often exacerbated by drug use, and they exhibit lower
levels of depression and anxiety. By recognizing the importance of self-compassion,
individuals can take proactive steps towards improving their mental health and well-being,
thereby reducing the likelihood of turning to drugs as a coping mechanism. Not only that
benefit, self-compassion also offers several benefits. It can increase emotional resilience,
improve psychological well-being, and reduce stress and depression. By being compassionate
towards oneself, one can foster a kinder and more understanding attitude, which can help
decrease feelings of unworthiness and prevent suicidal behavior. Furthermore, self-compassion
can also lead to increased self-esteem, improved relationships, and a greater sense of purpose
and meaning in life. Understanding these benefits underscores the importance of selfcompassion in substance abuse prevention efforts in Indonesia.

Self-compassion involves a kind and accepting relationship with ourselves, embracing
our imperfections. In her research, Neff identifies three core components of self-compassion.
Firstly, treating ourselves with kindness, like we treat a good friend—encouraging,
understanding, empathetic, patient, and gentle. Often, especially on challenging days, we tend
to be harsh and critical toward ourselves, employing language we wouldn’t use on someone we
care about. Self-compassion helps reverse this pattern, encouraging us to treat ourselves with
the same kindness we extend to our good friends.

The second part of self-compassion is recognizing our common humanity. Instead of
emphasizing differences like self-esteem, self-compassion highlights our shared human
experience of imperfection. Often, when facing challenges, we mistakenly perceive them as
abnormal, fostering a damaging sense of isolation. Acknowledging our universal imperfections
connects us to others rather than setting us apart, helping to reduce the feelings of loneliness
that can lead to substance abuse.

The last few years have seen a sharp uptick in the number of research studies conducted on
self-compassion. The bottom line is unequivocal: Self-compassion is very strongly related to
mental well-being. It’s strongly related to less depression, less anxiety, less stress, and less
perfectionism. It’s equally strongly related to positive states, like happiness and life satisfaction.
It’s linked to greater motivation, taking greater self-responsibility, and making healthier
lifestyle choices. It’s also linked to having a greater sense of connectedness with others and
better interpersonal relationships. Neff has also conducted research comparing self-esteem and
self-compassion directly. And what we find, what you can say, is that self-compassion offers
the benefits of self-esteem without the pitfalls. People sometimes think self-compassion is selfindulgent or selfish. It’s not. Because the more we are able to keep our hearts open to ourselves,
the more we have available to give to others, thus reducing the risk of drug abuse.

Germer, C., & Neff, K. (2019). Mindful self-compassion (MSC). In Handbook of mindfulness-based
programmes (pp. 357-367). Routledge.

Germer, C., Germer, C. K., & Neff, K. (2019). Teaching the mindful self-compassion program: A guide
for professionals. Guilford Publications

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