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Building Self-Compassion & Self-Love In 5 Easy Steps

Written by: Erin Macsymic, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Erin Macsymic

Get set for a transformative exploration into self-love and self-compassion! This oasis of practical wisdom and heart-centered guidance, gives empowering steps that promise to redefine the way you embrace yourself. Get ready to revolutionize your relationship with you. 

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What is self-compassion?


It is the practice of treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, particularly during times of suffering, failure, or when facing personal shortcomings. It involves extending the same warmth and care to oneself that one would offer to a good friend in times of difficulty. The concept of self-compassion is often associated with the work of Dr. Kristin Neff, a leading researcher in the field.


What is self-love?


Self-love is the practice of caring for and valuing oneself, both emotionally and physically. It involves recognizing one's worth, acknowledging personal needs, and prioritizing self-care. Self-love is a positive and nurturing attitude toward oneself, fostering a deep sense of appreciation and acceptance.

Both are integral components of fostering a healthy and nurturing relationship with oneself, contributing to overall well-being and a more fulfilling life.


The three main components of self-compassion are:


Self-Kindness: Being kind and understanding toward oneself rather than judgmental. This involves acknowledging and validating one's own feelings and experiences with a sense of gentleness.


Common Humanity: Recognizing that suffering and challenges are a natural part of the human experience. Instead of feeling isolated in struggles, self-compassion involves understanding that everyone goes through difficult times.


Mindfulness: Observing and accepting one's thoughts and emotions without judgment. Mindfulness allows for a non-reactive awareness of the present moment, fostering a balanced and realistic perspective.


Practicing self-compassion does not mean avoiding responsibility for one's actions or disregarding the need for personal growth. Instead, it encourages a nurturing and supportive attitude toward oneself, fostering emotional resilience and well-being. Numerous studies have shown that self-compassion is associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression, increased life satisfaction, and overall improved mental health.


Developing self-compassion involves cultivating these qualities through intentional practices such as mindfulness, self-kindness exercises, and reframing negative self-talk. It is considered a valuable skill for building emotional resilience and promoting a positive relationship with oneself.


Easy steps to get you started


1. Journaling for reflection & cultivating a gratitude practice


How: Keep a journal to reflect on your experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Use it as a tool for self-discovery, expressing gratitude, and exploring areas where self-compassion can be nurtured. Start free flow writing, just write, whatever comes up, like a stream of consciousness or write something you are grateful for today. Check out these journal prompts from Ineffable Living.


Why: Journaling can enhance self-awareness, providing insights into patterns of thinking and opportunities for self-compassion. You are then able to step back, and look from an observer’s point of view, and self-correct. Ineffable Living journal prompts.


2. Positive affirmations and self-talk


How: Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Use compassionate language when speaking to yourself, acknowledging your strengths and accomplishments. Whenever you catch that inner critic, reframe that negative statement into an empowering statement, and repeat it, over and over. Write it down if you have to! Need some inspiration? Check out positive affirmations from Louise Hay.


Why: Positive affirmations and self-talk have been associated with improved self-esteem, self-love and a more positive self-perception. Acknowledging and celebrating your strengths, accomplishments, and instilling loving kindness through self-talk, reinforces self-compassion and forgiveness.


3. Practice self-care and add playfulness


How: Prioritize self-care activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This includes adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation. Strengthen your inner child and add a sense of playfulness. provides a space for creative expression and exploration. Through play, you can express your true self without the constraints of societal expectations or self-imposed judgments. Take an action step and actively seek opportunities for self-improvement, learning, and personal development today.


Why: Taking care of your physical and emotional needs fosters a sense of value and importance, contributing to self-love and good feels. Fostering a playful attitude provides a space for creative expression and exploration. Through play, you can express your true self without the constraints of societal expectations or self-imposed judgments.


4. Practice mindfulness


How: Engage in mindfulness exercises that specifically focus on self-compassion. This includes acknowledging your feelings without judgment and responding with kindness. Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) programs, developed by Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer, offer structured guidance in this practice.


Why: Research indicates that mindfulness-based interventions can significantly increase self-compassion and reduce self-critical thoughts. Mindfulness also increases self-awareness, promotes emotional regulation, builds resilience, cultivates present-moment joy and self-appreciation.


5. Set boundaries


How: Learn to establish healthy boundaries to protect your well-being and prioritize your needs without guilt. Reflect on your needs and limits, clearly communicate boundaries with "I" statements, seek support and surround yourself with understanding individuals, consistently reinforce and adjust boundaries as needed and learn to say "no.”


Why: Setting boundaries is associated with increased self-compassion as it activates the brain's reward system. When you assert boundaries, it reduces stress, promoting the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, fostering a positive relationship with oneself.


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Erin Macsymic Brainz Magazine
 

Erin Macsymic, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Erin Macsymic is a sought-after Celebrity Hypnotherapist and Trauma Specialist. Embracing somatic centered therapies, Erin has designed seamless programs to help people release trauma, tension, and stress from the body. She has dedicated her life to supporting others in acquiring optimal health, self-awareness, happiness and wholeness. Erin's holistic wellness classes have proven to be a catalyst for profound healing and positive changes in the lives of individuals, groups and broader society. With mastery and passion, she has established herself as one of the most innovative practitioners in her field, including within many of Hollywood's elite.

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