Self-compassion or self-love may be a foreign concept for some people. This is especially true for those who were raised in abusive or unloving homes, where compassion may have been non-existent.
A construct drawn from Buddhist psychology, self-compassion refers to a way of relating to the self — with kindness. It is not to be confused with arrogance or conceit, which usually indicates a lack of self-love.
People who have self-compassion also have greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. Self-compassion has also been shown to correlate with less anxiety, depression, shame, and fear of failure. These attributes are paramount in recovery.
The article goes on to give 5 ways to practice self-compassion which I have summarised here:
- Treat yourself as you would a small child. Treat yourself a someone you are responsible to care for, as someone you are responsible for protecting. Think about how you care for a friend.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is an antidote to the self-critic as well as negative rumination.
- Remember that you’re not alone. Other people have walked this journey and have had similar experiences.
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Give yourself room to be human and flawed. Keep faith in your potential, accepting that mistakes are part of the journey.
- Work with a supportive therapist or coach. Cultivating new thought patterns and behaviour takes hard work and you don’t need to do this alone.
Would you like support? My approach is simple: loving boundaries, understanding and self-care. You’ll stop blaming and start healing.
Have a look our The Self Compassion Project