Self-compassion predicts greater savouring of positive experiences in sport


Self-compassion is defined as an orientation to care for oneself during challenging times. Most research has focused on self-compassion's benefit related to difficult life events. What is less clear is whether self-compassion influences how individuals respond to positive events. Savouring is a mindful process which involves maintaining, enhancing or prolonging good feelings and is linked to life satisfaction. Self-compassion should predict greater savouring because it facilitates mindfulness. We tested the relationship between self-compassion and savouring in sport in two studies. In Study 1, postsecondary student-athletes (N = 298) participated in a longitudinal study in which they completed assessments of both self-compassion and savouring tendencies at the start of the season (time 1) and 2 months later in the middle of the season (time 2). The results of a cross-lagged panel model showed that self-compassion at time 1 predicted increases in savouring at time 2, ? = .106, p = .009. Savouring at time 1, however, did not predict changes in self-compassion at time 2. In Study 2, fans of Chelsea F.C. (N = 244) completed online surveys the day after Chelsea F.C. had won the UEFA Champions League. Fans completed assessments of self-compassion, post-game positive emotions, and savouring responses to the victory. The results showed that self-compassion, while controlling for post-game emotions, predicted greater savouring, r = .225, p < .001. These two studies provide strong evidence that self-compassion not only serves as an adaptive resource for those facing difficulties, but also facilitates greater savouring of positive experiences in sport.