Practising The Art of Self-Compassion

To survive in this high-pressured, crazy world, most of us have to become highly adept at self-criticism. We learn how to tell ourselves off for our failures, and for not working hard or smart enough. But so good are we at this that we’re sometimes in danger of falling prey to an excessive version of self-criticism — what we might call self-flagellation: a rather dangerous state, which just ushers in depression and underperformance. We might simply lose the will to get out of bed.
— The School of Life

Sound familiar?

Self-compassion means extending compassion to one's self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or suffering. Research indicates that self-compassionate individuals experience greater psychological health than those who lack self-compassion. Self-compassion is positively associated with emotional resilience. 

Self-compassion researcher, Dr Kristen Neff, defines self-compassion as being kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings, instead of mercilessly judging and criticising yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings.

After all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?

With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend. Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?
— Dr Kristen Neff

This short video from The School of Life offers a corrective in practicing self-compassion and self-care on a daily basis.

You might also like to check out Dr Neff's self-compassion guided meditations and exercises


What are some of the ways in which you practice self-care? Please share in the comments below.