Self-compassion: Or why being kind to yourself can help you overcome your anxiety

In this week's podcast we're talking about self-compassion. What it is. How we talk to ourselves. About awareness of our thoughts, and being with how we’re feeling versus running and hiding from painful emotions.

Self-compassion is an important part of recovering from anxiety. Building a sense of self-kindness reduces stress and creates the space we need to quietly consider our chosen methods of dealing wit anxiety anxiety.

Often rather than showing ourselves the love and compassion we deserve when we’re suffering, we are hard on ourselves. If somebody else is harsh toward us when we feel anxious it feels so painful, yet we often do it to ourselves without a second thought.

The more stressed we are and the more anxious we are, the easier it is for us to talk to ourselves roughly - anxiety doesn’t respond well to rough handling.

So what is self-compassion?

It’s giving yourself some space and thinking before you respond. It can be helpful to start by thinking about how you would respond to somebody you truly cared about who was suffering.

If a friend came to you and you could see they were genuinely upset you would see their suffering and offer support - that’s the thing we don’t always do for ourselves.

Next time you catch yourself being hard on yourself or using harsh words in your head. Stop.

Try talking to yourself as you would a friend who was struggling.

Think about:

What would you say to them?

How could you help them?

How would you show them love and compassion?

Now start thinking about how you can extend the same loving kindness to yourself.

How can you be more patient with yourself?

How can you give yourself more of a break?

How could you be more understanding about what you are going through?

For further tips and resources on self-compassion in overcoming anxiety please listen to the full podcast here: