Have you ever wondered how you’re so good at being kind to others but find it so easy to be critical towards yourself? Self-criticism is an easy trap to fall into because compassion towards ourselves requires work and practice! To simply put it, self-compassion is “giving ourselves the same kindness and care we would give to a good friend.” It is expending that compassion towards ourselves during moments of suffering, self-criticism, failure, or perceived inadequacy. The three steps in practicing self-compassion entail 1) self-kindness, 2) common humanity and 3) mindfulness. Now let’s dive into learning how to get there!
Step 1 - Self-kindness: giving kindness and understanding toward ourselves when we are self-critical, fail at something, or hurt.
Step 2 - Common humanity: viewing our individual experiences as embedded in the broader human experience, rather than seeing ourselves as isolated.
Step 3 - Mindfulness: in self-compassion, the practice of mindfulness entails acknowledging and labelling our thoughts to create space for self-validation instead of reacting to them.
Self-compassion is a great skill to gain as it can benefit our mental health while supporting anxiety, depression and trauma. A great way to practice all three steps is using “Self-Compassion Break” by Dr. Kristin Neff. Friendly reminder, self-compassion is a skill to learn, and it requires kindness, patience and understanding. One step at a time!