How to Practice Self Compassion
Compassion means to “suffer together” and can be defined as, “the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering” – Greater Good Magazine-
While some might feel that compassion is too “touchy feely” or too soft, it is actually a great strength to be able to extend compassion to others as well as ourselves. When we extend compassion to others, we experience a boost in the hormone oxytocin which allows us to feel more connected and generates the ability to care more deeply. At times it might feel easier to extend compassion to others than to ourselves. Here are three simple steps to practice self-compassion.
This can also be done as a short meditation practice.
- This is a moment of suffering.
- Acknowledge Shared Humanity
- I am not alone in experiencing hardship.
- Many other people are having difficult experiences as well.
- Express Kindness to Yourself
- “May I give myself the compassion that I need,” “May I accept myself as I am,” “May I learn to accept myself as I am,” “May I forgive myself,” “May I be strong,” and “May I be patient.”
Practicing compassion and other forms of kindness can support not just our emotional and social wellbeing but can also have a positive impact on our physical health. Compassion can help to reduce stress, physical pain, and blood pressure. Practicing compassion can even help to increase our lifespan.