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Exercising Self Compassion in Times of Uncertainty

A woman meditating on self compassion
A woman meditating on self compassion

During these uncertain times, even people who say, “I don’t usually run anxious…” have shared with me that they are experiencing some anxiety.

If we are honest, we all are, aren’t we?

When I experience bouts of anxiety, I’ve found peace and grounding with Dr. Kristin Neff’s self-compassion break exercise. Whether you have one minute or ten, give it a try when you are feeling anxious, down, or just needing to channel more calm. Practice it alone, or with others. 

Practicing Self-Compassion

Step 1: Verbalize

As you experience a source of suffering or difficulty, say aloud, ”This is a moment of suffering.” Acknowledge it. Use simple language that speaks to you. ”This is really hard right now.” “I’m really struggling.”

Step 2: Normalize

Now make it normal. Say, “Suffering is a part of life.” It’s in our common humanity. It’s part of life. “It is not abnormal to feel this way.” Let yourself feel any emotions that come with it. Pause and take a breath.

Step 3: Self-Compassion

Then say, “May I be kind to myself in this moment.” It is important, especially in hard moments to extend to self love. You may want to place a hand on your heart or any place that feels soothing and comforting. Perhaps use language you would use with a good friend: 

“I’m here for you.”

“It’s going to be okay.” 

“I care about you.” 

Express your deep wish for yourself to be well and free from suffering. 

Step 4: Reflect

Notice any sensations you are experiencing right now. How are they different from before you started? Allow yourself to be. Effortlessly. 

Now join the conversation

Emotional Health in Times of Uncertainty
Online conversation with Dina Clabaugh
Wednesday, March 25 at 12pm CT
Live on Instagram & Facebook

Dina Clabaugh

Founder & CEO of Insight Counseling, LICSW

Dina opened Insight Counseling with the intent of creating exactly the type of space where she could go to experience insightful healing, growth, and enhanced health; a place where all people are warmly welcomed, and staff are interested in and committed to their care. Insight Counseling is that place.

Learn More