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C is for Compassion

Updated: Apr 9

While the word 'compassion' may seem like a trendy term today, it was surprisingly used more often in books in the early 1800s. Nevertheless, it remains significant because research by Prof. Matthias Berking shows that practicing self-compassion as a tool for regulating emotions is remarkably more effective for individuals struggling with severe depression than simply practicing acceptance or waiting for time to heal their depressed mood. At first glance, the idea of having compassion for oneself, or for others, may appear overly simplistic. However, in reality, it can be challenging when that relentless inner voice constantly points out our perceived flaws and shortcomings.

Compassion is an ongoing practice and not a one-time epiphany that magically heals us forever. It isn't about reciting affirmations of one’s own greatness and strength, especially if you don't genuinely believe them, as this can sometimes backfire and worsen the feelings of misery. Instead, it involves speaking to oneself with the same kindness and understanding that a caring friend would offer. It's about quieting the inner critic that does more harm than good. Unfortunately, some shy away from self-compassion, seeing it as selfish or believing their inner critic is too dominant to change. Thankfully, it is more achievable than you might imagine. Do you want to learn more about compassion?

📚 "Self-compassion" by Kristin Neff. She is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and on her website she offers a lot of free resources.

 ✏️ Get my free worksheet about compassion

C is for Compassion
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