Mindfulness, Self-Esteem, and Unconditional Self-Acceptance

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Ellis (Ellis, A. (1996), Psychotherapy, 22(1), 149-151) has been a longstanding critic of the concept of self-esteem and has offered the notion of unconditional self-acceptance as an alternative. Other researchers have suggested that cultivating mindfulness--attention directed towards one's immediate experiences with an attitude of non-judgment--also offers a healthier alternative to self-esteem (Ryan, R. M., & Brown, K. W. (2003) Psychological Inquiry, 14(1), 71-76). This study examined the relationship between mindfulness, self-esteem, and unconditional self-acceptance. A sample of 167 university students completed two measures of everyday mindfulness, and measures of self-esteem and unconditional self-acceptance. Positive correlations were found between mindfulness, self-esteem, and unconditional self-acceptance. Mindfulness skills may offer a means to cultivate unconditional self-acceptance and to shift from an emphasis on self-esteem as a measure of worth.

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