What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is the act of extending kindness towards oneself during moments of suffering. When we fail in life, it can be excruciating to handle. But with self-compassion, you can manage those emotions in a way that makes you feel less negatively about yourself. Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, created self-compassion scales. A long self-compassion scale has 26 items, while the short one has 12. Neff identified ways that people could be kind toward themselves and showed us that we could accept who we are. There are many ways to be compassionate toward yourself when you’re suffering. Here’s what self-compassion is and what isn’t.
What self-compassion is
- Kindness toward oneself – it can be easy to fall into negative thinking patterns when bad things happen to us in our lives. But extending genuine kindness toward oneself is self-compassion.
- Concern for your pain and wanting to nurture yourself
- Listening to yourself
- Being patient with yourself when you are hurting
What self-compassion isn’t
- Feeling sorry for yourself – self-compassion is about being kind to yourself and patient when you are feeling pain. It doesn’t mean you are throwing a pity party for yourself.
- Self-indulgence- there is a difference between self-compassion and self-indulgence. Self-indulgence with me and that you are doing something to assess whether it’s overeating or substance abuse. Self-compassion is about being kind to oneself.
How do you practice self-compassion?
You may be at a loss as to how to practice self-compassion. If it’s not something you already do, it is a learning curve. However, you can learn to be kinder to yourself.
- Forgive yourself – everybody makes mistakes, including you. If you do something that hurts someone, apologize, and then forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is essential because nobody’s perfect, and it is a part of being compassionate toward you.
- Speak kindly to yourself – be careful about the language you use when you talk to yourself. Many times we speak to ourselves in a negative voice. But you can reframe how you talk to yourself. Remember, you were doing the best you can at every moment. If you catch yourself speaking in some negative self-talk, you can stop and reframe it. for example, if you think “I’m a terrible friend. “You can reframe that to think, “I am somebody who made a mistake and hurt my friend.” You are doing the best that you can.
- Accept yourself – we all have strengths and flaws. Part of self-compassion is self-acceptance. Accepting that you have good qualities and things you need to work on within yourself. Acceptance is not something that happens overnight. You need to work through your issues within yourself and, if necessary, a therapist.
Working on self-compassion in therapy
Going to therapy can help you understand how to be more compassionate and accepting of yourself. A therapist can work with you to develop strategies to be a better kinder person toward yourself. Whether you work with a local counselor or an online therapist, therapy is a great place to work through self-esteem and self-acceptance issues.
You can practice self-compassion with your therapist. If you’re struggling to talk to yourself in a kind manner, your therapist can help you get to the root of the problem and work on being more self-compassionate with you. Self-compassion comes naturally to some people, and to others, it can be challenging. If you’ve been through trauma, it might be hard to see yourself in a positive light because of these negative experiences. If you struggle with depression, you might have difficulty speaking kind words to yourself or forgiving yourself.
With the help of A talented mental health professional either online or in your local area, you can figure out the root of why you cannot accept yourself and learn to be more kind and loving towards yourself
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.