Recently, I took a course in Self-Compassion, and here is some of what I learned:
Quote from Pema Chodron:
Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we’re trying to live up to. Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.
According to Paul Gilbert’s model of self-compassion, we can have two reactions to a stressor:
- we can trigger our “threat protection system” which involves suffering and fear, and releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
- we can evoke the affiliative state and find connection to others and be soothed by kindness, which releases the positive “feel good” hormones serotonin and oxytocin
Be a good friend to yourself at all times, especially in moments of distress. Ask yourself: “what would I say to a good friend if he or she were in my situation?”
Let us all start by being kind, for we all travel a difficult journey in life.