Understanding Self Compassion

Are you your own worst enemy? It is very rare for depression to exist without a certain amount of ‘self-bullying’. Depression is a bully, and it preys on and reinforces the habit of self-bullying. To beat depression, you need to sort your inner bully out! Self-compassion is a skill that you can learn and practice without having to actually ‘believe’ it at first – we can train our minds to bring greater compassion to all our thoughts and feelings.

Here are 3 main elements of self – compassion

  • Self Kindness Vs. Self Judgement – When we as people treat ourselves with more respect and warmth, compared to self-criticism and unrealistic expectations, we can then have a greater understanding and sympathy for our own realities and emotions.
  • Common Humanity Vs. Isolation – Suffering is not specific to one individual. As part of the human condition, we are all flawed, mortal, and subject to harsh realities. Understanding and accepting that you aren’t alone in your suffering will help reduce feelings of isolation and bring you to terms with your life in a healthy way.
  • Mindfulness Vs. Over Identification – Mindfulness required the non-judgmental observation of oneself, exactly what is needed in order to avoid exaggerating negative emotions or suppressing them as well. An open and kind observation of negative emotions can be helped when you put your suffering into a larger human perspective, not undermining your own emotions but allowing yourself to be comforted by knowing you’re not alone.

Find a self-compassion test, more self-compassion training exercises, and some MP3 downloads with self-compassion meditations on Dr Kristin Neff’s website at www.self-compassion.org. A very good way to develop more self-compassion is learning the skill of mindfulness – learn more on the ‘Practicing Mindfulness’ page of Dr Kristin’s website and look out for courses or workshops run by your university or college counselling service.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. anandhan says:

    yeah , depression. I was also depressed for a long time .Now I am quite free from it.

    Depression is really a serious illness. Sadly ,in this generation many are struggling to overcome this misery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Research indicates that self-compassion is significantly associated with positive mental health benefits and adaptive functioning. The distinction between self-compassion and “imposter phenomena” such as self-indulgence or self-pity are discussed. Hope this post helped.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aidan says:

    Good post, very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is so true. We spend so much time beating ourselves up when it might be those very “failures” that help strengthen and build us for the next step we are to take. Thanks for the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. Most of us find it difficult to move on from failures. Separate the failure from your identity. Just because you haven’t found a successful way of doing something (yet) doesn’t mean you are a failure. These are completely separate thoughts, yet many of us blur the lines between them. Personalizing failure can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and confidence. There was a man who failed in business at age 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at 24; overcome the death of his fiancée at 26; had a nervous breakdown at 27; lost a congressional race at 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed to become Vice President at age 47; lost a senatorial race at 49; and was elected as the President of the United States at the age of 52. This man was Abraham Lincoln. He refused to let his failures define him and fought against significant odds to achieve greatness.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Fred Stevens says:

    I appreciate the clarity of your thoughts and their expression.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I am glad you liked the post. Compassion is indeed very important.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.