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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

Self-Compassion Break (A Mindfulness Practice)

Recently, while I was out walking in my neighborhood, I noticed two people hugging on the sidewalk. As I approached, the energy of the hug felt sorrowful.


I became aware one of them was sobbing into the other person’s arms.

 

As I passed them, I became overwhelmed with empathy and wondered, what are they going through? 


Everyone goes through difficult times and I was glad the person who was crying was with someone who was there to hug and support them.


I also wondered if they had been alone, would they console themself? If so, how?


It got me thinking about self-compassion.


And I’d like to share a practice that I learned in a mindful self-compassion course I took through the Center of Mindful Self-Compassion.


It’s called a Self-Compassion Break, which is a practice that you can use when you’re in pain, suffering, and in need of support. 


It involves the 3 components of self-compassion


  1. Mindfulness

  2. Common humanity

  3. Kindness

To practice, you'll need a few minutes of quiet time.


Begin by taking a few deep breaths and settle into your body.


Bring to mind a situation in your life that is causing you stress and say to yourself:


“This is a moment of suffering.” 


This is the 1st component of self-compassion, Mindfulness, validating the struggle while you’re struggling. You can choose any words that speak to you: 


  • This is painful right now. 

  • I feel scared and overwhelmed. 

Next say to yourself: 


“Suffering is a part of life.” 


This 2nd component of self-compassion, Common Humanity, recognizing everyone struggles. You could also say:


  • There's nothing wrong with feeling this way.

  • I am not alone.

Finally, offer yourself a gesture of soothing touch such as placing your hand over your heart, and say: 


“May I be kind to myself."


That’s Kindness, the 3rd component of self-compassion. Other options: 


  • I am willing to accept myself as I am. 

  • May I be patient with myself. 


If you’re having trouble finding the right words, imagine a loved one having the same problem as you. What would you say to them? Can you offer that message to yourself? 


This is self-compassion.


I invite you to experiment with this practice so that the next time you find yourself in distress, you are able to give yourself the loving kindness you deserve. 


You are not alone. 


If you're ready to get support to take the right steps to healing your chronic health issues, I would love to help you.



Love, Your Wellness Coach,

Alyssa


P.S. Listen to episode 172, “Self-Compassion Break (A Mindfulness Practice).”


April 10, 2024



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