contemplation to give yourself the compassion you need (and deserve).
1.Put both hands on
your heart, pause, and feel their warmth. You can also put your hand anyplace
on your body that feels soothing and comforting, like your belly or face.
2.Breathe deeply in and
3.Speak these words to
yourself, out loud or silently, in a warm and caring tone:
This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is a part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.
The first phrase,This is a moment of suffering, is designed to
bring mindfulness to the fact that you’re in pain. Other possible wordings areI’m having a really tough time right now,This hurts, or anything that describes the suffering
you are experiencing.
The second phrase,Suffering is a part of life, reminds you that
imperfection is part of the shared human experience. Other possible wordings
areEveryone feels this way sometimes,This is part of being human, etc.
The third phrase,May I be kind to myself in this moment, helps bring a sense
of caring concern to your present-moment experience. Other possible wordings
areMay I love and support myself right now,May I accept myself as I am, etc.
The final phrase,May I give myself the compassion I need, firmly sets your
intention to be self-compassionate. You might use other words such asMay I remember that I am worthy of compassion,May I give myself the same compassion I would give to a good
Find the wordings for these four
phrases that are the most comfortable for you and memorize them. Then, the next
time you judge yourself or have a difficult experience, you can use these
phrases as a way of reminding yourself to be self-compassionate. This practice
is a handy tool to soothe and calm troubled states of mind.
Kristin Neff is associate professor of
educational psychology at the University
of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer researcher in the
field of self-compassion and teaches workshops worldwide. She is the author ofSelf-Compassion:
Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.