Practice self-compassion and develop emotional resilience to nurture your inner radiance and illuminate the outside world.
Give and Receive Kindness
Self-compassion is treating oneself with kindness by being understanding of personal experiences that involve suffering, failure, and pain with a caring and gentle perspective. It involves three intersecting elements: self-kindness, feelings of common humanity, and mindfulness (1). Self-kindness is responding with benevolence instead of self-criticism amidst difficult circumstances (1). Feelings of humanity entail understanding that adversities are a shared human experience and that one is not alone in challenging times (1). Mindfulness is acknowledging thoughts and feelings that pertain to experiences of hardship in a balanced and healthy manner (1).
Practicing self-compassion is not easy, but with practice and frequent reminders, it can start to enhance well-being. You will feel better connected and emotionally calm (2). Learning self-soothing techniques can lead to positive coping mechanisms.
Research findings also conclude that self-compassion lowers and offers protection against depression and anxiety (3). There is no doubt that everyone is worthy of compassion.
In order to overcome mental or physical diseases, it is imperative that you start treating yourself with the same love, kindness, care, and support that you display to your loved ones and close friends.
Awaken Your Strength
Embracing self-compassion offers astounding benefits. Self-compassion leads to elevated feelings of life satisfaction and is linked to greater optimism, ambition, and curiosity (4). Self-compassion also promotes “positive mental health outcomes, including lower levels of depression, less self-evaluative anxiety, less rumination, [and] lowered negative affect” (4).
Qualities associated with self-esteem, including self-affect and self-acceptance, also increase without generating self-centeredness and selfishness by emphasizing relatability and social connectedness (5,6). Research findings suggest that self-compassion contributes to emotional resilience and behavioral motivation while boosting competence, independence, and awareness which helps develop healthier coping processes in stressful circumstances (6,7,8).
Undergo A Positive Transformation
Foster self-compassion by giving yourself the warmth, patience, and care you deserve in challenging moments. Here are a few exercises that will help you nurture self-empathy:
1. Self-Compassion Affirmations
Inspire empowering thinking with positive statements: I forgive my past mistakes and love myself wholeheartedly. I am resilient and can overcome struggles and challenges–I am not alone. I release my inner critic and self-judgment to accept love and kindness.
2. Practice Meditation
Follow a guided self-compassion meditation to allow yourself to feel emotions and accept warmth. Choose a meditation exercise from this website or feel free to check out Headspace or Calm videos on YouTube.
3. Engage with Self-Healing Workbooks
Nurture your well-being by learning about self-compassion and interacting with enlightening activities that will help cultivate self-kindness and care. A wonderful recommendation is The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer.
4. Heal With Yoga
Allow your mind and body to invite self-compassion through yoga. Follow this 30-minute video in the comfort of your home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snHa3_8p3UM
5. Mindful Journaling
Expressive writing is a healthy coping strategy that promotes emotional regulation. Start by jotting down a recent mistake. Discuss your feelings and the difficult experience. What can you say to yourself now to replace self-criticism? Be gentle and give yourself grace. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and you are not the exception.
For more self-compassion guidance, visit Dr. Kristin Neff’s website as a resource. Dr. Neff is the pioneer of self-compassion research.
- Gerber Z, Tolmacz R, Doron Y. Self-compassion and forms of concern for others. Personality and Individual Differences. 2015 Nov 1; 86:394-400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.052
- Neff KD, Kirkpatrick KL, Rude SS. Self-compassion and adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of research in personality. 2007 Feb 1; 41(1):139-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2006.03.004
- Neff KD, Dahm KA. Self-compassion: What it is, what it does, and how it relates to mindfulness. In Handbook of mindfulness and self-regulation 2015 (pp. 121-137). Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2263-5_10
- Shapira LB, Mongrain M. The benefits of self-compassion and optimism exercises for individuals vulnerable to depression. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2010 Sep 1;5(5):377-89. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2010.516763
- Neff KD, Kirkpatrick KL, Rude SS. Self-compassion and adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of research in personality. 2007 Feb 1;41(1):139-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2006.03.004
- Neff KD. Self‐compassion, self‐esteem, and well‐being. Social and personality psychology compass. 2011 Jan;5(1):1-2. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00330.x
- Neff K. Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and identity. 2003 Apr 1;2(2):85-101. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298860309032
- Gerber Z, Tolmacz R, Doron Y. Self-compassion and forms of concern for others. Personality and Individual Differences. 2015 Nov 1;86:394-400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.052