Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself, “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself at this moment? With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.
Think of a situation in your life that is difficult that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body.
Now, say to yourself:
This is a moment of suffering
That’s mindfulness. Other options include:
This is stressful.
Suffering is a part of life
That’s common humanity. Other options include:
Other people feel this way.
I’m not alone.
We all struggle in our lives.
May I be kind to myself
You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right myself?”
Is there a kind phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:
May I give myself the compassion that I need.
May I learn to accept myself as I am.
May I be patient with myself.
More Self-Compassion Exercises from Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
(Right-click the links below to download – then choose “Save File As” or click to listen to the meditations)
- New! Fierce Friend [Audio – 15 minutes]
- Self-Compassion for Caregivers [Video – 9 minutes]
- Compassionate Friend [18 minutes]
- Giving and Receiving Compassion [20 minutes]
- Affectionate Breathing [21 minutes]
- Compassionate Body Scan [24 minutes]
- Loving-Kindness Meditation [20 minutes]
- Self-Compassion/Loving-Kindness Meditation [20 minutes]
- Noting Your Emotions [18 minutes]
- Soften, soothe, allow: Working with emotions in the body [15 minutes]
- Self-Compassion Break [5 minutes]