Single Participants

Exercise 2: Self-Compassion Break

Monday:
Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body.

Write down your emotions, feelings, mood, tone and voice.

Tuesday:
After reading the yesterday's notes, please say to yourself the following sentences by retiring for 5 - 10 minutes:

1. This is a moment of suffering

That’s mindfulness. Other options include:

  • This hurts.
  • Ouch.
  • This is stress.

2. Suffering is a part of life

That’s common humanity. Other options include:

  • Other people feel this way.
  • I’m not alone.
  • We all struggle in our lives.

Now, put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest. Or adopt the soothing touch you discovered felt right for you.

Say to yourself:

3. May I be kind to myself

You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself?” Is there a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:

  • May I give myself the compassion that I need
  • May I learn to accept myself as I am
  • May I forgive myself
  • May I be strong.
  • May I be patient

Repeat this exercise on Wednesday with another event according to Monday's assignment and on Thursday continue the task

Friday:
Take the time to reflect on this experience. Write down what has changed.

This practice can be used any time of day or night, and will help you remember to evoke the three aspects of self-compassion when you need it most.