How to foster self-compassion
According to Dr. Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion has three main elements:
Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or criticize ourselves.
Suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience. It is something we all go through rather than something that happens to “me” alone.
Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. Mindfulness requires that we not “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings, and we listen to what is happening in the present.
Studies have shown that high self-compassion is associated with:
In this post, I share some self-compassion exercises that can help you in your every day.
One very simple practice you can start right away when you find yourself struggle with self-criticism is trying ask yoursef:
what would I say to a loved friend in the same situation?
It seems easy, but it is not. It is easier to be kind to others that to ourselves.
Practice, practice, practice
Other 3 self-compassion exercises by Kristin Neff to help you in your daily practice are listed below.
Exercise 1: How would you treat a friend?
Did you notice a difference?
Exercise 2: Self-compassion break
Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Visualize it, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body. Now, say to yourself:
Exercise 3: Self-compassion journal
Keeping a journal is an effective way of expressing emotions and reflecting on your life experiences. Try to write about an experience that is difficult for you. Consider the following areas in your writing:
Please let me know in comments which one works best for you and your experience practicing them.
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