Being kind to yourself is part of being compassionate. Another way to practice self-compassion is to comfort yourself physically and with compassionate words. Dr. Kristin Neff emphasizes the use of physical gestures and compassionate words. This information is from her work.

Kind physical gestures and interactions will be immediately comforting. Physical gestures get you out of your head, with all the runaway thoughts and stories that happen there, and move you back into your body and the sensations that are the root of emotions. Comfort through touch is a basic and effective skill to use.

Placing your hand on your heart, hugging yourself, and gently rubbing your arms are ideas for practicing self-compassion. Use any caring physical touch done with the intention of comfort that works for you.

In addition to touch, have a set of compassionate phrases that you’ve memorized. Whenever you find yourself saying critical words, replace them with a gesture, like putting your hand on your heart and saying a phrase that works for you such as, “Suffering will pass,” or, “This is a moment of suffering,” or, “May I be kind to myself in this moment?” 

Your words need to reflect your personality. So maybe you’d say, “You’ve got this,” or “Dude, this is yucky, of course you’re scared.” The words need to be what works for you to feel support and compassion for yourself.

Today practice using physical gestures combined with compassionate words to practice self-compassion.

Live a skill-full life!

Note: This information is from the work of Dr. Kristin Neff.