Integrating self-compassion into your practice

Right now, the science of mindfulness, as well as acceptance and compassion-focused therapies, are growing at warp speed. Clinicians are steadily presented with new treatment options for anxiety and depression that are grounded in centuries of meditation tradition and tested and honed by advanced research. It’s understandable that this rapid emergence of new methods and techniques can seem a little daunting. After years of education and many more years of practical experience, do we really want to roll up our sleeves and learn a whole new mode of therapy? Thankfully, we don’t need to begin again from scratch when we wish to work with innovations in mindfulness and self-compassion.

Trying to control your emotions might be the problem, not the solution

Emotions like anxiety, sadness, and rage are powerful neural states that can be extremely challenging to experience. And without the right skills, we can respond to them by acting in ways that bring negative consequences. Wouldn’t it seem that the logical answer is to suppress these dangerous feelings?As it turns out, one of the best ways to respond to emotions is to approach them with mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion rather than through avoidance or over-control. 

Overcoming shame and social anxiety through self-compassion

Research has shown that the compassion and kindness we experience have a huge impact on how our brains mature, our physical health, and on our general well-being. Shame and social anxiety are also affected by our experience of compassion. It turns out that when we use imagery and meditation to train our brains in self-compassion, we’re able to overcome the tyranny of social fears, and we’re better able to approach life with courage, curiosity, and a capacity for joy.