Personal Development

How To Practise More Self-Compassion, Starting From Today

This is a collaborative post.

Life is a beautiful yet challenging journey, filled with ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks. Along the way, most of us find ourselves facing moments of self-doubt, criticism, and inner turmoil.

In these moments, practising self-compassion can be a powerful antidote, offering a path to greater self-acceptance, resilience, and inner peace. Thanks to what you see in the media, hustle culture, perfectionism, and even corporate culture, it’s tempting to be hard on yourself, talk yourself down, and keep constantly pushing yourself and your boundaries too far.

But honestly, it’s just not necessary. You deserve to have hobbies, you deserve to relax, and you deserve to be who you are. So, with that said, how can you get into this mindset of practising more self-compassion? Well, here’s exactly what you need to know.

A woman sitting on a bench on top of a hill, looking out over a village landscape at sunset.
Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash

Understanding Self-Compassion: What Is It?

Self-compassion is the practice of treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially during times of struggle or suffering. It involves acknowledging our own humanity, embracing our imperfections, and offering ourselves the same kindness and empathy that we would offer to a dear friend.

In a way, it’s like self-care, but usually, self-care is about actions such as taking a mental health day or buying yourself comfort food. Self-compassion is different because it’s about not beating yourself up and not being so hard on yourself.

Here’s the perfect example: just imagine a treasured friend coming to you with their struggles and pain. You would likely offer them words of comfort, encouragement, and support, reminding them of their inherent worth and value. Self-compassion involves extending that same kindness and compassion to yourself, recognising that you, too, deserve love, understanding, and forgiveness, especially in moments of difficulty or failure.

How Can You Benefit From Self-Compassion?

You know most of the benefits of self-care, right? Well, the benefits of self-compassion are fairly similar. You’re likely to experience lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. But most likely, you’ll also have greater resilience in the face of adversity, and bounce back more quickly from setbacks and challenges. 

Just think about how different your life could be if you approached yourself with kindness and compassion rather than criticism and judgment. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes or shortcomings, you would offer yourself forgiveness and understanding, allowing you to move forward with greater clarity, confidence, and resilience. You deserve to be your own best friend.

How Can You Cultivate This Self-Compassion?

It’s super important to understand that practicing self-compassion is not about achieving perfection or eliminating all negative thoughts and emotions. Rather, it’s about embracing your humanity, with all its flaws and imperfections, and learning to treat yourself with kindness and understanding, no matter what life throws your way. Again, you’re supposed to treat yourself like you’re your own best friend. Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can cultivate self-compassion:

1. Mindful Awareness

Now, this one might be really hard to do, especially if you are your own worst critic. But start by simply noticing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. When you find yourself experiencing self-criticism or negativity, gently acknowledge it without getting caught up in it. Again, it’s really hard to do, but you need to remember that thoughts are not facts – they are simply passing mental events that do not define your worth or value.

2. Reduce Stress

Do you feel like you’re constantly on edge? Usually, stress makes us perform at our worst, which leads us to be even more critical of ourselves. This just isn’t something you’re going to want to do to yourself. You need to find comfort, you need to try to relax, and just take more time for yourself.

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising enough? It might also help to take supplements to help you relax, and maybe drink relaxing teas, too. Sometimes, it’s hard to relax, but you have to do this for your own mental health.

3. Practise More Self-Kindness

You have to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would offer to a close friend. When you’re facing a difficult situation or feeling overwhelmed, offer yourself words of comfort and encouragement. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

4. Remember: You’re Human

You’re not a superhuman; you’re not some sort of special being either- you’re just you. So, go ahead and recognise that you are not alone in your struggles and suffering. We all experience moments of pain, failure, and self-doubt – it’s simply a part of being human. Just by acknowledging our shared humanity, you can cultivate a sense of connection and belonging, knowing that you are not alone in your journey.

5. Accept Yourself

Sadly, we live in a society that does the opposite; it tries to get you to pick out your own flaws, and some people take it upon themselves to pick out flaws in others, too. It’s hard and probably feels impossible, but you need to embrace your imperfections and flaws as a natural part of being human. 

Instead of striving for perfection or comparing yourself to others, practise self-acceptance and self-love. Go ahead and celebrate your strengths and achievements, no matter how small, and embrace your unique abilities and talents.

Self-Compassion: It’s a Journey of Healing

It’s hard to rewire your brain to the point where you like yourself, you feel good about yourself, and you’re not picking out bad things about yourself. Again, it’s really hard to achieve! However, you have to understand that although practicing self-compassion is not always easy; it is profoundly transformative. By embracing your own humanity and treating yourself with kindness and understanding, you can cultivate a deep sense of inner peace, fulfillment and resilience. Your life will be different, but it’s going to be so much better.

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How To Practice More Self-Compassion, Starting From Today

18 Comments

  1. We’re often our own worst enemy. Like you said, we need to treat ourselves like we’d treat our loved ones, with kindness and compassion. Practising self-compassion can make forms good journal exercise too, taking the time each day to write something nice about yourself

    1. Sophie says:

      That’s a great idea, to write something nice about yourself each day as a journalling exercise. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. This was a beautiful written post with some great ideas. One of the things that really stuck out to me was #4; recognizing we are human and that we are not alone. One of the positive things I have gotten with connecting with online communities is that we do realize in some ways how we can relate to certain things. This is especially true when it comes to thinking we are unique or the only one experiencing something when we find that many others may experience similar things. It definitely allows us to have more grace with ourselves. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sophie says:

      That’s so true – online communities are great for showing us that we are not alone. I’ve definitely had times when I thought I was the only one experiencing a certain thing, and was surprised to discover that others had experienced it too. Thank you for reading!

  3. I often write about self-compassion on my site as I believe it is something so many of us put to the side. We all need to cultivate self-love in this way so this post is super helpful with some amazing information and tips. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sophie says:

      I agree, self-love and self-compassion are so important! Thank you for reading!

  4. Wonderful reminder to practice self-compassion! We could all be more gentle and loving to ourselves. I loved points 4 and 5. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Sophie says:

      I agree, that’s something that would benefit us all! Thank you for reading.

  5. Charli Dee says:

    What a beautiful post, and one I needed to read! It’s always good to be reminded that we should show ourselves compassion the same way we would show compassion to a friend or family member. I’m definitely very hard in myself. I have a disability and because of my disability I take longer to complete tasks than my peers. But I’m also a little bit of a perfectionist, that’s probably what also makes me take longer to complete tasks. For instance, when I was in school, my assignments had to be perfect. I would feel extreme anxiety if I turned in an assignment that I felt was subpar. One time I even apologized to a professor for getting a B on an exam and messing up on a presentation. I’m learning that to have more compassion for myself and to give myself grace. I’m learning that my tasks don’t have to be perfect, they just need to get done. After all, no one is perfect right? It’s very hard to change my thinking. It’s such a challenge, but I’m slowly getting to a place where I am not beating myself up over mistakes and loving myself. Thankyou for this post.

    1. Sophie says:

      Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your experience! I also have the tendency to be a perfectionist, but I’ve learned that only causes stress and pressure. I’m also more likely to procrastinate because it feels like such a huge task to do something perfectly. Like you, I’ve been learning that tasks just have to be done, and it rarely matters if it’s not perfect. Glad you are getting to a place of more self-compassion!

  6. Being kinder to myself is something I am trying to work on. This post has some great tips! Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

    1. Sophie says:

      Being kind to yourself is truly so important. Thank you for reading!

  7. What a great post. I definitely agree that life is full of ups and downs, and it helps to know that the downs don’t last forever. It also really helps to really appreciate the ups too. I also agree that we need to treat ourselves with kindness like we would a friend. It’s funny how we’re our own worst enemy and wouldn’t dream of talking to somebody else how we do about ourselves

    1. Sophie says:

      It’s definitely helpful to remind ourselves that the downs in life don’t last forever! I agree, it’s funny how we are sometimes our own worst enemy – it makes no sense! Thank you for reading.

  8. I think it can be hard to show yourself compassion sometimes, especially if you’ve made a mistake. However, it’s important if you want to move on. Lovely post, thank you for sharing your thoughts x

    1. Sophie says:

      You’re right, it can be hard, but it’s so important! We all make mistakes after all. Thank you for reading x

  9. Practicing self compassion is so important.. it brings calm and peace into life…thanks for sharing this insightful post dear 🙂
    The Trendy Bride

    1. Sophie says:

      I agree, it brings calm and peace! Thank you for reading 🙂

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