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What is Self Compassion?

You've likely heard of self esteem and self worth but have you heard of the concept of self compassion? Self compassion is the practice of treating ourselves with the same kindness, concern, and care that we would offer to a good friend who is struggling. It means recognizing our own humanity, flaws and all. It is recognizing that, as a human, you are deserving of your own kindness, especially when it's hardest. 

Where self esteem, self worth, and confidence require a person to value themselves, something difficult for many, self compassion simply asks you to be kind and supportive to yourself. For those who struggle

with poor self esteem and self worth, this can be a game changer.

Picture of woman feeling content and peaceful, a woman practicing self compassion

And I want to be clear- self compassion is not about indulging in self-pity, making excuses, or avoiding responsibility. It is about recognizing that as a human you deserve kindness and compassion, even in the face of mistakes, setbacks, flaws, and challenges. It is about working towards a sense of self-love and self-acceptance that allows us to thrive and grow, even in difficult circumstances. 

Research has shown that self compassion can have a range of benefits for our mental health and well-being. It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, increase resilience in the face of stress, and improve our overall sense of happiness and life satisfaction. As a therapist, I've seen self-compassion transform client's relationships with themselves and contribute to a reduction in their depression and anxiety. Personally, self compassion has been a powerful tool for growth and well-being.

With time and practice, self compassion can become a powerful tool for cultivating greater self-awareness, self-love, and inner peace. If you struggle with feelings of self-criticism or low self-esteem, give self compassion a try with the 5 Minute Self Compassion Break below. Also, check out this Self Compassion Ted Talk from Dr. Kristin Neff, a self compassion expert.

5 Minute Self Compassion Break Worksheet
5 Minute Self Compassion Break Worksheet

5 Minute Self Compassion Break
Download PDF • 49KB


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Hi. I'm Katie

Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing teletherapy to adults in Florida. 

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