Self-compassion is a powerful tool you can use to improve your well-being, self confidence and resilience. Many find it easy to have compassion for others but struggle in applying this same kindness to themselves. By taking moments throughout your day to pause and practice self compassion, you can gradually increase this quality and make it a more regular habit in your life.
Pause a few times a day – especially when you are a feeling stressed or overwhelmed – and practice self-compassion.
- When you find yourself stressed out in a difficult situation, take a moment to pause.
- Reach up and touch your heart, or give yourself a hug if you are comfortable with that.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Acknowledge that you are suffering and see if you can treat yourself with as much kindness as you would a dear friend or child who was struggling.
- Offer yourself phrases of compassion, first by acknowledging your suffering:
- “This is suffering.” or “This is really painful/difficult right now.” or “Wow, I am really suffering right now!”
- “Suffering is a part of being human.”
- May I hold myself with compassion.
- May I love and accept myself just as I am.
- May I experience peace.
- May I remember to treat myself with love and kindness.
- May I open to my experience just as it is.
- Return to your daily activities, intentionally carrying an attitude of self-compassion and acceptance to your day.
For the final phrase(s), choose whatever is most appropriate for your situation. Feel free to use any of the following phrases or create your own:
This method was adapted from the Self-Compassion Pause used in Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training program. For more information about their program and about self-compassion, visit http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/ and http://selfcompassion.org/.
Various guided self-compassion meditations by Christopher Germer can be found at https://chrisgermer.com/meditations/.