Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion is mindset that provides yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would provide for a friend. People have a tendency to have strong expectations and harsh criticisms for themselves – often much higher than they would have for others.

Self-Compassion involves being more realistic and generous with yourself. This can result in benefits for stress, mood and anxiety. Self-Compassion is about being gentle with yourself.

Exercises

Self-Compassion is a mindset and perspective you can use each day. Like any type of mindset, it can be trained.

Dr. Kristen Neff is a psychologist focusing on Self-Compassion. Her website, self-compassion.org has 8 exercises to practice self-compassion.

Exercise 1: How would you treat a friend?

Please take out a sheet of paper and answer the following questions:

  1. First, think about times when a close friend feels really bad about him or herself or is really struggling in some way. How would you respond to your friend in this situation (especially when you’re at your best)? Please write down what you typically do, what you say, and note the tone in which you typically talk to your friends.
  2. Now think about times when you feel bad about yourself or are struggling. How do you typically respond to yourself in these situations? Please write down what you typically do, what you say, and note the tone in which you talk to yourself.
  3. Did you notice a difference? If so, ask yourself why. What factors or fears come into play that lead you to treat yourself and others so differently?
  4. Please write down how you think things might change if you responded to yourself in the same way you typically respond to a close friend when you’re suffering.

For the remaining 7 exercises, check them out at Dr. Kristen Neff’s Website.

Consider offering yourself more self-compassion and see what happens. You might find you have less self-criticism and are more accepting of yourself.

Sources

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