Mindfulness Mondays, 3: Self-Compassion

 

 

In honor of Valentine's Day, this week's Mindfulness Mondays post will show how mindfulness can be used to increase self-compassion. Mindfulness encourages us to deal kindly with our selves – with gentleness rather than with judgement. Dr. Kristin Neff has done some wonderful work in the sphere of self-compassion. Here is a mindfulness exercise modeled after some of her self-compassion work:

 

Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and settle into the position in which you are sitting. Allow your shoulders and your face to relax.

Bring to mind a person or animal that naturally makes you smile. Make this person some with whom your relationship is uncomplicated – natural and safe. Perhaps a niece/nephew, grandparent, pet, etc.

Now, really bring this person to mind and imagine that you are speak to them.

May you experience peacefulness.

May you show yourself value.

May you be able to receive and give love.

May you live a life of openness, vulnerability, boldness, and compassion.

Repeat this sentiment to them:

May you experience peacefulness.

May you show yourself value.

May you be able to receive and give love.

May you live a life of openness, vulnerability, boldness, and compassion.

Now bring yourself into this circle of well-being. Imagine speaking these words to yourself:

May you experience peacefulness.

May you show yourself value.

May you be able to receive and give love.

May you live a life of openness, vulnerability, boldness, and compassion.

Repeat this sentiment to yourself:

May you experience peacefulness.

May you show yourself value.

May you be able to receive and give love.

May you live a life of openness, vulnerability, boldness, and compassion.

Take a few deep breaths, imagining that as you breath in you are continuing to breath in these sentiments and noticing what that feels like in your body. When you are ready return to the room.

This week’s challenge is to download the “Insight Timer” app and commit to practicing mindfulness in whatever space your life allows at the moment. Once a week? Twice a week? Daily? Notice what sort of mindfulness exercises are most effective for you and what sort of results you experience. By exploring the app, you will see that some exercises are geared toward peacefulness, others self-compassion, and still others focus, and so on. Get clear about your resources so you can have mental go-tos in times of need. The more accessible and more practiced our coping resources are, the more we are able to utilize them during times of high emotion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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