Practice Mindful Self-Compassion even when you don’t think you need it. Why? Because then you’ll have that familiar safe space to step into when you need it most.
So, what is Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) anyway?
The practice of MSC was created by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer as an expansion of mindfulness practice that centers on our innate need for comfort. According to their teachings, self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself as you would a dear friend.
- You’re having a difficult time
- You fail
- You notice something you don’t like about yourself
…rather than ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, stop and offer yourself compassion instead.
Acknowledge to yourself: “This is really difficult right now.”
Ask yourself: “How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
Build Your Mindful Self-Compassion Practice.
Don’t default to that all-too-common mode of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings. Practicing self-compassion means you are kind and understanding towards yourself when confronted with your personal failings. After all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?
It’s always okay to choose to grow, change, and heal to become healthier and happier, but this isn’t something we can scold or shame ourselves into. These goals can only truly be achieved through caring about ourselves, not acting from a place of believing we are worthless or unacceptable as we are.
Having compassion for ourselves means honoring and accepting our humanness. All of us encounter frustrations, experience losses, make mistakes, bump up against limitations, fall short of ideals. ALL OF US.
This is just part of the human condition, a reality we all share.
The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans.
Treat yourself with compassion and give yourself access to the support you need in each moment. Start now, today, with the little things. Then when life really gets tough, you’ll know that YOU are your own safe space.
And that’s a beautiful thing!