You have probably heard of attachment styles before. They describe the way we relate to others and expect them to relate to us. There are three types of attachment styles: anxious, avoidant, and secure. To be securely attached means you feel confident that others will be there for you in times of need. You might have been familiar with this, but how do you think attachment styles affect other areas of your life such as your general well-being?
Kristin Homan (2018) researched this connection. To test this, she recruited 126 older adults, with a mean age of 70 years, and had them fill out psychological questionnaires that measured attachment styles, psychological well-being, and self-compassion. The scores from these were then tested with a statistical approach known as regression analysis. She found that people who are securely attached show more self-compassion, and as a result, these people experience overall greater well-being and are happier later in life.
These findings are great news for the estimated 50% of the population that are securely attached. If you are insecurely attached, you might wonder: “does this mean I will never be as happy as those who are securely attached?”. Don’t worry! The happiness and well-being were both mediated by self-compassion. That means that you can practice loving kindness, be more self-compassionate, and become the happiest version of yourself! Love your friends, love yourself, love your life.
Kristin J. Homan (2018) Secure attachment and eudaimonic well-being in late adulthood: The mediating role of self-compassion, Aging & Mental Health, 22:3, 363-370, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1254597