The ultimate guide of self-compassion

Self-compassion is showing love, understanding and concern, without judgement for someone who is suffering. Self-compassion has so many benefits one of the most prominent is the effect it has on mental health. Through self-compassion we can be more loving and compassionate towards other but most importantly towards ourselves.

There are three elements of self-compassion

1.  Self-kindness

2. Common humanity 

3. Mindfulness

Self-kindness is the act of being kind to yourself rather than criticising when things don't go as planned or when you make a mistake. 

Common humanity being able to recognise that you are not alone. Experiencing pain, upset and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience. 

Mindfulness is having a balanced awareness of negative emotions, neither ignoring nor exaggerating them. Observing your thoughts & feelings, trying to see the bigger picture without being judgemental of your experiences. 

Self-compassion is not:

Selfishness 

Narcissism

Judgement

Criticism 

Self-pity

Self-indulgence                                                                                     

Self compassion is:

Having a kind understanding and an open mind

Acceptance

Caring awareness allowing us to listen to our bodies & find what is healthy for us

Self-compassion quiets down the ego without ignoring or suppressing the self's needs. 

Benefits of self-compassion

Motivation 

self-improvement

Lowered symptoms of depression

How to put self-compassion into practice 

Firstly, familiarise yourself with the following benefits of self-compassion.

  • You will recover quicker when you make mistakes

  • You will stop comparing yourself

  • You will not beat yourself up over the small stuff

  • You will take risks that scare you without fear of failure.

  • You will care less about what others think of you

  • Self-confidence will improve

  • Self-esteem will improve

As always, though, if you really want to see a difference, it takes active change and practice. 

Cultivate mindfulness 

Speak kindly to yourself - Notice your self-talk! In times of failure or challenge noticing your self-talk can help you replace it with self-compassion. Instead of saying things like "I am such an idiot" you might say "I had a moment of absent-mindedness and that's okay".                                                                                                     

Practice meditation

Cultivate forgiveness towards self 

A self-compassion technique you can start using immediately today is thinking "How would you treat a friend"?

As someone who used to be incredibly hard on myself, I can promise you, being more compassionate has changed my life. It didn't happen overnight and of course, things still bother me, and I become upset but I catch myself quicker than before.