A Simple, Powerful Self-Compassion Method

A Simple Powerful Self Compassion Method
A Simple Powerful Self Compassion Method

When we’re frustrated with others, or feeling bad about ourselves … we often turn toward habits that comfort us:

  • Distractions
  • Food
  • Shopping
  • Smoking
  • Drugs/alcohol

These don’t often work, because they tend to make us feel worse in the long run. We become unhappier, more stressed, and then need to seek comfort in these things again … and the cycle continues.

These are sometimes the only ways we know of comforting ourselves! I know this because for a long time I always turned to all of the above for comfort when I was feeling stressed or bad about myself. It made me very unhealthy and it took a long time to change my patterns.

Today I’d like to suggest a method of self-compassion that I’ve been learning, that has worked wonders.

The Self-Compassion Method

Try this now if you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, in pain, disappointed, angry, anxious, worried, or depressed:

  1. Notice. Take a moment to turn inward and notice your pain in this moment. Now notice where it is in your body, and how it feels. Describe the pain to yourself in physical terms, in terms of quality, in terms of color or shape or motion.
  2. Accept. Now tell yourself that it’s OK to have this pain. It’s perfectly OK to feel bad about yourself, to feel bad about your body, to feel frustrated with someone else. Let yourself feel the pain.
  3. Comfort. Now treat this pain with compassion, like you would with a friend who is suffering, or your child who is in pain. Be gentle with it, kind to it, like a suffering child. Comfort it. How would you comfort your friend whose parent just died?
  4. Smile. Finally, try wishing your pain well, wish it happiness. Give it love. Smile at your pain in compassion.

This method takes a lot of practice, for sure. I’m still learning it myself, and I don’t claim to be an expert at self-compassion. But I’ve found it to be truly amazing, because we very rarely do this for ourselves. We’re good at being kind to others when they’re having a difficult time, perhaps, but not always with ourselves.

And it can be transformative. If you practice compassion with your pain, it becomes less of a burden. You realize that it’s temporary, you feel less bad about being frustrated. And you feel loved — by yourself.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to say personally for myself this is very true. My neck was broken in 2008. I had three surgeries, fought a 2 yr methodone addiction given to me by pain management doctirs, fought against alcohol and food addictions and now recently have quit smoking.
    I have stripped all addictions.
    I went back to school at 43 for bldg trades and am now 4 months into my first job as an electrician apprentice.
    For yrs I started telling myself this pain is normal, it’s my body healing and it is only temporary . I also made mental notes in my head asking my soul to heal my body.
    I can say it was not an over nite process. It’s took a matter of yrs considering the life changing injury I had. They completely rebuilt my neck with two rods, 36 screws and 2 discs. I was immediately given social security and told I’d never lift over 20 lbs or work again.
    I am working electrical construction rite now and moving quicker than the 20 yr Olds on the job. The more I work the better I feel.
    So yes I can personally validate this article and it can be done!

  2. I know pain that’s hurts to my soul, emotional pain. But as the hurt & pain got to where I almost done myself in. Then the pain turned. physical. My arms and legs, mouth tung started going numb. Finally I see a doctor and he said that happens when you can’t handle anymore emotional pain. Will this work for me?+

  3. Surprise see any method I can’t see for requires me as a physical invert Albert is not worthier accurate because I don’t have the frame of mind to follow it or understand it it doesn’t seem to work for me is there something that will actually lift my spirits give my confidence but I think not just for other people did not get down

  4. I’m at a point in my life where I have Concord addiction 12 yrs raised 4 children managing my chronic depression and accepted my physical disabilities anything better I have strayed for I’ve received and lost best friend man of my dreams of home of my own in less than nine months I have lost it all again 50 years old 12 years of sobriety nothing better than nothing less intact is my sobriety and my love for my children the rest of it not so much

  5. I love the concept, but I have a question, (well many -?’s- but this one ) coming from a uniquely, “old soul” different kind of human I was able to teach my self to find positives in the most bleak of negatives. However I have always been best at not tending much to my self compassion but completely the opposite. Now my question is (and this is for anyone really) but in day to day regimen are you suppossed to take say five mins or an allotted time to either in ur head or out loud do this method?

    Thank you

    • I would do this method in my head. For me it seems more intuitive when I work it from an inner perspective. Feels like it reaches me on a subconscious level. Also, if you work the method inwardly, it is easier to do no matter where you are.But, if time and space permits, you can state your pain outloud in order for it to reverberate back to you. Almost like a friend is saying how they feel instead of you and instinct would want you to comfort that friend which is you.

  6. Feb 12 at 3:17 PM
    Full Legal :MUSOBYA MOSES.
    Age:44 Yrs
    Gender:Male
    phone:+256752105307
    Address: jinja, Budondo
    Country:Uganda

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