Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering, and understanding that this is a hard, but normal human experience. Directing feelings of kindness and care towards ourselves, and focusing our attention and energy on how we might alleviate our pain, are also crucial components of self-compassion. Self-compassion can bring great benefits for our mental health and well-being. Particularly, self-compassion can activate our soothe system, which calms the threat and drive systems. Our threat and drive systems tend to be overactive for many of us much of the time, and responsible for the difficult emotions we may be struggling with (e.g., anxiety, anger, depression). The opposite of self-compassion is self-criticism. This very negative thinking style often links to difficult emotions and mental health problems. Those who are highly self-critical particularly need to develop the ability to relate to themselves in a compassionate way.
From Self-Criticism to Self-Kindness: This workbook is designed to provide you with some information and practical skills to help you be less critical and more compassionate towards yourself. It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.
This module provides a general description of what self-compassion is, and why it is important to our mental health, particularly in helping us overcoming our tendency to be our own worst critic.
This module is about pre-empting and dealing with the common barriers that get in the way of being more compassionate towards ourselves. Typical barriers are positive beliefs we may hold about being self-critical and negative beliefs we may hold about what is means to be self-compassionate.
This module teaches you the first practical steps towards being more self-compassionate. That is, retraining your attention to be more aware of when you are being self-critical and may be in need of a kinder approach to yourself, and also how to slow things down, using your breathing to activate a calming physical state that is more conducive to being self-compassionate.
We know that imagery can be very powerful in triggering our emotions. With this is mind, this modules teaches you how to develop your own compassionate image, that will help you trigger compassionate feelings within you, which you can then direct towards yourself whenever you need them.
This module teaches you how to take the compassionate feelings you are developing, and allow these to guide how you think. This module will teach you strategies such as Compassionate Thought Diaries and Compassionate Letter Writing, to encourage a kinder way of thinking about yourself and your situation.
This module teaches you how to behave and act in more compassionate ways, both by being kinder towards yourself, kinder towards others, and how to face some of the tough things in life you may need to deal with.
This final module draws together everything you have covered in the previous modules, to help you live a compassionate life over the long term. You will develop a Self-Compassion Action Plan and Maintenance Plan, to help keep you on track with all the new self-compassion skills you have learned.
Click the link above to download all modules in this workbook at once, as a zip file.
What is Self-Compassion?
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