Having self-compassion is no different than having compassion for others.
It’s a process in recognizing a moment of suffering, and empathizing with that scenario.
And yet, haven’t you noticed that we tend to be far more critical with ourselves than we are with other people?
Especially when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, sad or depressed.
Why is this? It seems strange, no? Aren’t we another person too? One that deserves to be heard and understood? One that deserves patience?
Self compassion is a skill that can be strengthened.
Just like you go to the gym to strengthen your physical muscles, there are exercises that allow you to strengthen your emotional muscles too.
And there are many benefits to doing so….
The Power of Self-Compassion
When we’re compassionate with ourselves we find the support we need in challenging circumstances from within.
“A moment of self compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” – Christopher Germer
Buddhist scholars have identified three main components of self-compassion:
- Common Humanity
Studies show that people who are self-compassionate are more likely to be happy, resilient, optimistic and motivated to change themselves and their lives for the better.
In short, self-compassionate people experience a greater sense of well-being.
And, from self-compassion comes self discipline, because sticking with new habits or goals is really just empathy with your future self.
Strengthening Our Self-Compassion:
Here is an incredibly simple technique to take your self-compassion to new heights:
- Think about something in your life that is challenging you, or causing you stress.
Say whatever it is you are suffering from out loud.
Take your time identifying the root of your current stress.
For example, “I’m feeling stressed because I feel trapped in a career I don’t love.”
2. Now this is where we magnify our self compassion.
Out loud say, “(Insert your first name) is feeling stressed about (insert your stress).
Like this, “Tim is feeling stressed because he feels trapped in a career he doesn’t love.”
It’s a subtle shift in perspective. Taking you from being immersed and subject to your circumstance, to stepping outside of it. Observing it.
3. Now, say:
I’m sorry to hear that (insert first name)…
I can only imagine…
I’m sure you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many other people feel this way too.
Remember, this is just a temporary phase. You will get through it soon…
Take this exercise, this perspective with you wherever you go, and next time you catch yourself getting worked up about something, try addressing yourself in this manner. I bet it will help <3