By Amanda Neilson, Manager of Clinical Practice

Would you like to:

  • Decrease anxiety and depression?
  • Find healthy ways of dealing with difficult emotions?
  • Increase your feelings of social connectedness?
  • Feel more life satisfaction?
  • Experience greater happiness, optimism, wisdom, curiosity and motivation?
  • Be physically healthier?

Research shows that practising self-compassion regularly is an effective way to reach all of the above!

So, what is self-compassion?

Self-compassion is learning how to be our own best friend instead of our own worst enemy, especially in times we need support most. It is reminding ourselves that we too have strengths and we too struggle, just like everyone else.

Self-compassion is not:

  • Self-Pity
  • Self-Indulgence
  • Self-Esteem (Self-esteem is based on what we achieve.)
  • False Positivity (“Just be happy…silver lining…positive vibes only!”)
  • Making Excuses

Self-compassion is made up of three parts: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness.

Mindfulness – Acknowledge what is going on at this very moment without judgement. It means being aware of our experience – thoughts, emotions, sensations – without avoiding it or criticizing it.

Common humanity – Remind yourself that you are not alone. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect. That means reminding ourselves that EVERYONE fails, EVERYONE makes mistakes, EVERYONE experiences hardship in life. We are not alone in our suffering.

Self-kindness – Support bringing kindness to yourself. This means practising treating ourselves with care and understanding rather than beating ourselves up or tearing ourselves down.

So how do we practise self-compassion?

Here are some examples of how you can start practising self-compassion today:

Ask Yourself “What’s my Level of Self-Compassion?”

Test how self-compassionate you currently are and get strategies to help increase self-compassion.  Take the test here.

Use Self-Compassion Phrases

The following phrases can be helpful to practise saying to yourself when you notice that you are stressed or struggling or experiencing emotional pain:

  • This is a moment of suffering
  • Suffering is a part of life
  • May I be kind to myself
  • May I give myself the compassion I need

Watch and Complete this Self-Compassion Video and Exercise

How to be a Friend to Yourself video 

How Would You Treat a Friend? exercise

“Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.”

“Full acceptance of ourselves, moment to moment, makes it easier to adapt and change in the direction we’d like to go.”
Chris Germer
The Mindful Self-Compassion Center
  • Categories

  • Recent News

    An Hour to Give 2023

    This past weekend, Rideauwood was featured on An Hour to Give, the Rogers TV and Country 101.1FM show dedicated to showcasing local charities.

    Read More »

    Trauma-Informed Care (TIC)

    By providing trauma-informed care, we can support people in reducing the risks and problems caused by addiction while also supporting, educating and developing strategies to increase their quality of life that trauma and chronic stress have impacted.

    Read More »
  • Rideauwood partners with

    During COVID-19, Rideauwood has partnered with other agencies through CounsellingConnect to help youth, young adults and adults who are dealing with substance use issues, or other problematic behaviour such as gambling and gaming or supporting a friend/family member who is. If you are interested in a single session to explore these issues, help is just a click away.