How Do I Train Self-Compassion?

I try to treat other people with kindness every single day. Of course there are days when I fail at this, but nevertheless I still always try. Still sometimes I forget to treat myself with kindness. Self-blame and beating yourself up because of your failures never seem to improve any bad situation, at least based on my experience. During difficult moments in life I have had to thus force myself to practice self-compassion. 

It’s relieving to notice that, at least for me, practice really makes me a more compassionate person towards myself, little by little. The self-compassion exercises come to mind a little easier after each time when they are needed. 

The most effective self-compassion exercise for me so far has been the one where you challenge your own self-judging thoughts. The idea is to write down your negative thoughts and then to come up with more friendly alternatives for these thoughts. The method of writing down my own thoughts works for me especially well as it’s then much easier to see those thoughts from outside. I can imagine that if this thought would be sent to a Whatsapp-group of friends, how would I respond to it. I try to answer myself the same way I would answer a friend. 

We are all different and the same exercises might not work for all of us. Trying different things will allow you to find the methods most suitable for yourself. Check out for example the self-compassion exercises of  Kristin Neff and also share your best self-compassion tips forward!

All the best to you,
JYY’s Specialist in Social Affairs