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Understanding Self-Compassion

May 16, 2024

Self-compassion is a concept rooted in mindfulness and self-care that involves treating oneself with the same kindness, care, and understanding that one would offer to a close friend in times of suffering or difficulty. Self-compassion consists of three key components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Understanding self-compassion is essential for promoting mental and emotional well-being and fostering resilience.

Self-compassion begins with self-kindness, which is the practice of being gentle and understanding toward oneself, especially when faced with personal inadequacies or mistakes. Instead of self-criticism or harsh self-judgment, self-kindness involves offering words of comfort and encouragement to oneself. For example, instead of berating oneself for a mistake, a self-compassionate response might be, “It’s okay; everyone makes mistakes sometimes.”

Another aspect of Self Compassion is Common Humanity. This is the idea that suffering and imperfection are universal human experiences. Often, individuals who lack self-compassion feel isolated in their suffering, believing that they are the only ones facing a particular challenge or feeling a certain way. Common humanity reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles; others go through similar difficulties, and this recognition fosters a sense of connection and belonging.

Mindfulness is the third pillar of self-compassion. It involves being present in the moment and observing one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. In the context of self-compassion, mindfulness means acknowledging one’s suffering with an open and non-judgmental attitude. This mindfulness allows individuals to avoid over-identifying with their pain and to maintain a balanced perspective on their experiences.

Understanding self-compassion is crucial for several reasons

1.Improved Mental Health: Self-compassion is associated with lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. It helps individuals manage difficult emotions and reduces the negative impact of self-criticism.

2. Greater Resilience: Self-compassionate individuals are more resilient in the face of setbacks and failures. They are better equipped to bounce back from challenges because they treat themselves with kindness and self-encouragement.

3. Enhanced Self-Esteem: Self-compassion is not the same as self-esteem, but it is related. By practicing self-kindness and understanding, individuals can cultivate a healthier self-esteem rooted in self-acceptance rather than perfectionism.

4. Improved Relationships: Self-compassionate people tend to have healthier and more satisfying relationships. When individuals treat themselves with kindness, they are better able to extend that compassion to others, leading to more empathetic and supportive interactions.

We can cultivate Self-Compassion through practicing mindfulness to better connect with your thoughts and feelings, especially your self-critical inner dialogue. Noticing this self critic can help you begin to challenge negative self talk and lean into self kindness instead. Reminding yourself that you are not the only person who has experienced what you may be faced with can help you lean into compassion and away from self judgment. 

Self-compassion is a powerful tool for promoting emotional well-being, resilience, and healthier relationships. It involves treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding that we naturally extend to others. By cultivating self-kindness, recognizing our shared humanity, and practicing mindfulness, we can develop self-compassion and experience the positive effects it has on our mental and emotional health.


At Manhattan Wellness, we understand that with all the messages we receive from the world, it can be difficult to maintain a positive narrative about ourselves. From social media, movies, and even people close to us, it can be hard to drown out the negative. So much so that our inner critic takes over and we forget to show ourselves the same compassion as others. That’s why our female therapists want to support you in building the confidence you need to reach your highest potential. Let us help you create an empowering narrative that will benefit all aspects of your life, from personal to professional. If you are interested in beginning counseling for women:

  1. Submit a Contact Form or Email Us at
  2. Learn More About Our Team and Our Areas of Expertise
  3. Begin Seeing Yourself in a Whole New Light!


Our therapists understand that building confidence takes time and that other issues can come up along the way. To better support you, we offer a variety of services to cater to your individual needs. The therapy services we offer are Therapy for Self Esteem, Anxiety Treatment, and therapy for dating and relationship issues. As well as therapy for college students, support for maternal mental health, body image therapy, and so much more. Are you feel like you’re not living the life you want and need to make changes? Let’s talk about it.

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