Drop of Life Clinicians utilises information from our learning and experience and bring it to our practice and blogs.
This month we will be focusing on Self-Compassion!! While we are all familiar with the term Compassion, we might not be as familiar with the idea of Self-Compassion. In essence while we may be kind and compassionate toward others, many of us struggle to be compassionate toward ourselves.
We may judge ourselves for our perceived failures, speak harshly to ourselves when we make a mistake, and feel separate and cut off from others during times of suffering.
By taking a more Self-Compassionate stance toward ourselves, we can be more open to our experiences of suffering, be kind and caring toward ourselves, view our shortcomings non-judgmentally and see our suffering as part of the human condition (Neff, 2003).
We can also become aware of our critical voice. You know, that voice that tells us that we are “not good enough,” that we are unlovable, that we will fail or that things won’t get better.
There are three parts to Self-Compassion. The first is being kind and loving to oneself instead of judgmental. The second is accepting that suffering is part of the human condition, which helps us to stay connected to others rather than isolating ourselves. The final important component of Self-Compassion is mindfulness, that is, contact with the present moment and one’s own suffering, as opposed to avoiding experiences of pain and suffering.
Research has shown that people low on self-compassion tend to struggle with depression, anxiety and other problems, while those high on self-compassion tend to have improved psychological well-being, satisfaction with life and overall coping strategies.
So, if you want to increase your Self-Compassion, you could try the following:
1. Consider how you would treat someone else, like a friend. What tone of voice would you use? What would you say to comfort them? What sort of language would you use (i.e. supportive versus blaming)
2. You could comfort yourself with a physical gesture
3. Develop compassionate language toward yourself and use these phrases in times of stress or distress
4. Practice meditation or mindfulness
If you would like more information on Self-Compassion, or you would like to find out how Self-Compassionate you are, ask to see Claudine at Drop of Life for an appointment!