Research has shown that anyone can develop self-compassion with a willingness to practice. We recently came across a workbook called The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook, which provides a “Map to Self-Compassion.” It asks us to dedicate 30 minutes each day, for 14 days to our practice, starting each session with this map and a “Self-Compassion Body scan.” From there, you are directed to one of eight practices.
1. A Self-Compassion Body Scan
Do you notice any tension, agitation, heaviness, or any other form of discomfort in your body? Can you stay present with it, or is it causing overwhelm?
Accept all of your bodily sensations and thoughts without trying to change them.
3. Embracing Suffering
Imagine someone you care about, and visualize them loving and accepting you. Allow this visualization to offer you comfort in your suffering.
4. Healing Pain From the Past
Neuroscientists have discovered that the key to transforming past pain is to get in touch with it while experiencing compassion, triggering a process called memory reconsolidation.
5. Going Deeper
A process of listening to the suffering in your body, listening to a past self that is suffering, and listening to parts of yourself that may not be cooperating with your practice.
6. When Compassion is Difficult
Typically when self-compassion is difficult to access, it’s due to one of two obstacles: overwhelm or competing commitments. This practice offers you ways to accept these obstacles.
7. Natural Compassion
Focus on either sending compassion to someone else, receiving compassion from an imagined source as a way to naturally tap into compassion.
8. Cultivating Joy
A practice of removing the focus on external sources of happiness (i.e. achieving goals, solving problems) and cultivating joy through mindfulness and optimism.
As we face another year with plenty of unknowns, we encourage you to reflect on how you treat yourself. We believe that self-compassion might just be the new resolution. Check out The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook to learn more about the eight practices, and curl up in your favorite pajamas for those daily 30 minutes.