What The Heck Is . . . Self-Compassion?
Updated: Mar 17
Let’s talk about self-compassion 💕 Before we dive into some tools and practices for your own compassion routine, let's get clear on what this term even means.
There are many working definitions of what self compassion means; however, I like to use this one as it seems to identify compassion at its very core.
Now that we have a working definition, let me introduce you to the queen of all things research and insight when it comes to self-compassion -- Dr. Kristin Neff. From her work in the field, Neff has boiled this concept down to three key elements:
So how do we implement these pillars into our daily life?
Let's look to Dr. Russ Harris, prominent Acceptance & Commitment Therapist, who came across and was inspired by Neff's findings. Harris has expanded her three fundamental elements to six building blocks of self-compassion In order to help us add these practices to our everyday living:
Let's look at each of these more closely:
This working to notice, acknowledge and disarm my inner critic has been one of the most instrumental practices to care for my mental health.
When I make a mistake, the first thing that usually happens is voice within that says, "ugh, you did it again. You messed up royally." The principles and practice of self-compassion have taught me to recognize if this part gets triggered, notice where I feel it in my body, and honor the job it’s trying to do to protect me.
As you read through these practices - notice which of these elements you may already do, which ones seem possible to add in, and which ones will take more time and energy to learn and lean into.
And remember - this is a practice. It will take time to shift the way you see and treat yourself. Trust in the process, and go forward with kindness and care.