Self-compassion is, in part, the concept of treating ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and compassion we would show to a good friend, or even a stranger for that matter. When we are actively try to better ourselves or make changes within ourselves, it’s so easy to slip into self-criticism and harshness. Self-compassion is a practice that starts with acting kindly to yourself trusting the feelings of warmth and caring will eventually follow. As researcher and author Kristen Neff says in her book about Self-Compassion, “If we hold our self-judgments with gentleness and understanding, the force of self-contempt will eventually fade and wither, deprived of the sustenance needed to survive.”
Here are the THREE Core Components of Self-Compassion:
1. Self-Kindness: being gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. (example: actively comforting ourselves by saying “this is really difficult right now. How can I care for and comfort myself in this moment?”)
2. Common Humanity: recognizing the need to feel connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering.
3. Mindfulness – holding our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.
Everyone is worthy of compassion, intrinsically valuable and deserving of care. I wanted to share this resource with you, as I’ve found it to be very insightful, practical and helpful. If this is an area you want to improve on, reach out for support and utilize the different exercises on www.self-compassion.org. She has a quiz to rate your current level of self-compassion and offers exercises to practice self-compassion.