SELF COMPASSION

WHAT IS SELF COMPASSION?

To be kind and accepting of oneself in the midst of suffering.

COMPONENTS OF SELF COMPASSION

MINDFULNESS

Being open to the reality of the present moment without judgment or attachment.

  • Awareness of thoughts and present moment with curiosity
  • Honor and acknowledge how you truly feel without going into the story. “This is really difficult right now, I am feeling…”

SELF KINDNESS

Instead of attacking ourselves for our own humanity, we offer ourselves unconditional love and support. What would you say to or how would you support a child or best friend who was going through your situation?

  • Is this thought and/or action helpful? Does it align with my desires to care for & support myself?
  • Forgiveness for past “mistakes’ (i.e. learning experiences - what did you learn?)

COMMON HUMANITY

Recognizing suffering and imperfection are part of the shared human experience and that we can connect to one another through shared experiences. We all make mistakes and experience difficult challenges at some point in life.

  • Find a supportive community to connect & share with (maybe a trusted friend is where you start)
    Shame says “I’m a failure” → Compassion asks “What am I learning?”

BODY IMAGE

Refers to way we view, think, and feel about our bodies. Often heavily influenced by what we have learned through media and cultural messaging.  

UNHELPFUL TRADITIONAL MESSAGING

  • You need to change your body to be loved and accepted
  • Changing your body will bring you happiness

ACTS OF SELF COMPASSION

  • Ditch the scale and placing value on a number
  • Using social media consciously
  • Embodiment: body awareness activities (yoga, dance, meditation, ect.)
  • Recognizing you are more than just a body. What other gifts, talents, strengths and qualities do you value about yourself?
  • Do the things you want to do in the body you have now

NOURISHMENT

UNHELPFUL TRADITIONAL MESSAGING  

  • Placing rules and judgments on food will help you achieve health & happiness

ACTS OF SELF COMPASSION

  • Mindful eating: actions that allow you to slow down, be fully present to the experience and savor food with awareness instead of judgment.
  • Giving yourself permission to eat and giving gratitude for food
  • Learning to reestablish trust with food and your body
    • Gathering information with curiosity from your learning experiences → Understanding not every moment will go perfectly. Can you observe how food and/or experiences feels in your body without judgment? What did you learn? Can you forgive and move on?

FITNESS

UNHELPFUL TRADITIONAL MESSAGING  

  • No pain no gain.
  • Push yourself over your limit.

ACTS OF SELF COMPASSION

  • Enjoyment: Exploring movement that feels good and fun
  • Gratitude for your body and what it CAN do in the moment (everyday will be different)

BELIEFS

UNHELPFUL TRADITIONAL MESSAGING  

  • I have to be perfect to be worthy and successful

ACTS OF SELF COMPASSION

  • Acknowledging you are doing the best you can
  • Recognizing we are all worthy of love and respect just as we are
  • Setting any needed boundaries
  • Forgiveness

LIVE WILL PLEDGE

Today, I will try to feed myself when I’m hungry and honor my body’s signals of fullness.

Today, I will try to be attentive to how my body feels and choose foods that make me feel good.

Today, I will try to be attentive to how foods taste and make me feel.

Today, I will try to look kindly at my body and treat it with respect.

Today, I will try to find enjoyable ways to move my body.

Today, I will try to show more compassion toward myself and others.

* Adapted from Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon

RECOMMENDED READING

  • Selfcompassion.org
  • The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer
  • Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown
  • Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon