Most of us feel compassion for our close friends when they are struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion for personal growth. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
What is Self-Compassion?
Defined by Kristin Neff (2003), three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindful awareness.
- Kindness: With self-compassion, we treat ourselves with kindness, care, and understanding, just as we would treat a friend we cared about. Compassion also entails concern with the alleviation of suffering, meaning there is an action component to self-compassion – actively soothing and comforting ourselves when we’re in pain, supporting ourselves and protecting ourselves from harm.
- Common Humanity: With self-compassion we see life’s many difficulties as part of the larger human experience. Acknowledging that others struggle too helps to lessen feelings of isolation.
- Mindfulness: In order for us to respond to our struggles with compassion, we first have to know we are struggling. Mindfulness allows us to turn toward painful feelings and “be” with them as they are with a balanced state of awareness.
Self-compassion is a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves. MSC courses and offerings provide the opportunity to learn and expand your experience of self-compassion.
Benefits of Practicing MSC
Self-compassion helps us to connect with an inner strength that enables us to more fully embrace being human—and more fully embrace being ourselves.
Research has demonstrated that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional strength and wellbeing, resilience in coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, motivation with less fear of failure, and healthy life habits.
More information about MSC:
- Dr. Kristin Neff: self-compassion.org
- Dr. Chris Germer: chrisgermer.com
- Center for Mindful Self-Compassion: centerformsc.org
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
– Chris Germer, Co-Developer, MSC Program