What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is when you’re kind to yourself when you’re feeling down, inadequate, or suffering in any way. Too often, we give kindness, empathy, and understanding to others, but we neglect ourselves. Self-compassion is crucial to good mental health. Kristin Neff states that self-compassion has three main ingredients, and they are: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
Self-kindness: When you practice self-kindness, you’re compassionate toward yourself when you’re suffering. When you notice your flaws, you’re caring rather than critical.
Common humanity: You recognize that failing is a part of the human experience, and suffering happens when you fail. Everyone experiences failure because, so you’re not alone.
Mindfulness: Self-compassion means that you recognize negative thoughts or self-talk, but you aren’t judgmental about them. You use mindfulness to observe them. Let yourself feel your feelings without being harsh on yourself.
Self-compassion takes practice. But you can do it! You may not be used to taking time to listen to how you feel. Some of us live with chronic anxiety. When you’re anxious, that can make it hard to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Take a moment during the day, and let yourself know that anxiety is painful, and you’re hurting. But you’re also trying hard to get things done. Self-compassion doesn’t mean feeling sorry for yourself. It’s about acknowledging your feelings and moving through them. It might help to develop simple mantras for self-compassion. One could be: “I’m doing the best I can,” or “I love and accept myself for my strengths and flaws.” Choose a mantra that speaks to you.
Self-compassion and mental health
When you’re kind to yourself, it makes you feel better. Self-compassion is especially important to practice when you’re suffering from mental health issues. For example, when you’re depressed and having trouble doing things, it can help to be compassionate with yourself. It’s not easy to get out of bed when you’re depressed. Tell yourself that you know how hard you’re trying and that you’re doing the best you can. Be gentle with yourself when you’re feeling down. Make sure that you take steps toward getting help as well. A therapist is a great person to connect with when you’re having mental health struggles.
Why does self-compassion matter?
Self-compassion is an excellent mental health tool. It’s beneficial in many different ways. When you forgive yourself, it’s a powerful experience. Using self-compassion is a holistic health experience. It has many additional benefits, including good mental health as well as physical wellbeing. When you’re kind to yourself, you’re going to better your relationships with others. You’ll understand who you are and your emotional needs to better empathize with others. When you take the time to practice self-compassion, you will probably notice that you’re less anxious. It’s likely because you’re taking the time to look inward and care about you. Life can be extremely challenging and sometimes brutal. It’s okay to be gentle with yourself when things are tough. You can take a moment to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I know things are hard, and I’m sorry you’re suffering.” Talk to yourself as you would a good friend. It will better your mental health.
Learning self-compassion in therapy
Some people naturally practice self-compassion, while for others, it doesn’t come intuitively. That’s okay if you’re unsure of how to nurture yourself. You can talk about learning self-compassion in therapy. Online therapy is an excellent place to learn about your feelings and why it’s crucial to practice self-compassion. There are many places where you can get insight into self-compassion and mental health. A great resource where you can learn about mental wellness is Mind Diagnostics. Maybe people in your past told you that your feelings aren’t significant. That’s not true, and that’s where self-compassion can help. You deserve to feel your feelings. Any emotions you feel are valid. An online therapist is dedicated to helping you better your mental health, and that begins with self-compassion.