Many people are able to extend love, acceptance, and understanding outwards, but aren’t able to express those same feelings to themselves. (Maybe you’ve been doing this to yourself too???)
Self compassion is having the ability to grant yourself the same support, love, and acceptance you show others. And, it is an important practice to integrate into your daily ritual and can help relieve many mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. Here at Inner Light Counseling, we want to show you the power of self compassion and how it can change your life today.
What is Self Compassion?
By definition, it is the ability to show empathy, concern, or love to oneself even in the case of failure. Being able to direct these positive emotions inwards is a powerful self-reflection and coping mechanism but is oftentimes a struggle for most individuals.
As humans it is easier to show outward concern to people that may be seen as difficult, but as soon as we attempt to grant ourselves those same feelings of empathy we feel as if we are selfish or pitying our weaknesses.
Different from self-esteem, self compassion is the ability to accept oneself even in the face of failure. This concept also plays into the ability to be mindful of oneself and your surroundings. Once an individual has achieved a greater understanding of their present feelings, surrounding, and thoughts, they are able to move towards a place of self compassion and truthfulness.
The Effects of Self Compassion
Lack of empathy or compassion can have a long-term effect on an individual’s mental health condition. When an individual is no longer able to accept or forgive themselves, it can lead to feelings of insecurity, depression, or guilt. However, once one accepts self-compassion in the form of self care they are able to move past these feelings of failure and change their mindset.
The importance of self compassion is a growing trend, especially in therapy. As therapists, we place a large focus on it as a self care technique which can have a positive impact on our emotional wellness journey. Self care practices can be tremendously successful when it comes to the healing process and allow us to develop long term habits of forgiveness, acceptance, and success.
Self Compassion Vs Self Esteem
Although similar in nature, self-compassion varies from self-esteem. While self compassion is rooted in personal empathy and acceptance, self-esteem is an evaluation of oneself in the face of others. Self-esteem is a result of comparing your own traits, progress, and characteristics against others and using that basis as a form of judgement and self critique. Self compassion focuses on individual worth as opposed to comparing these differences.
How It’s Applied in Counseling
Different forms of counseling incorporate this in different ways. For example, a cognitive therapist may use it as a form of creating a more positive mindset for the patient and aiding them in moving past feelings of depression or anxiety. On the other hand, a therapist that focuses on psychoanalytic counseling may use this form of self-care to help patients recover from past trauma and re-frame their thoughts about themselves relieving guilt and shame.
There is growing research too that shows the connection between self compassion and its ability to positively impact our mental and physical health. Once an individual has begun to accept themselves for who they are they realize their potential, begin considering new possibilities, and are more accepting of both themselves and others.
This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. While many therapists incorporate self compassion counseling into their practices, it takes a level of personal work as well. Being able to reflect on your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions will allow you to begin to break down your emotions and find the compassion that is in each of us.
About Inner Light Counseling LLC | Denver Counselor Rachel Moore, LPC
Once you have unlocked this power, you can begin to use this self-care technique to transform and heal. At Inner Light Counseling, we believe in whole-person healing. For more self care tips and counseling, click to book an appointment with Inner Light Counseling today.