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April Blog 2024: Self-compassion

April 6, 2024

Self-Compassion

Ninety-eight per cent of the thoughts we had yesterday, we have today. This is not good if the thoughts are negative.

Understanding the meaning of self-compassion?

Having compassion for oneself is the same as having compassion for others. The word compassion means to “suffer with”.

To have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering.

Compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain. When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way.

Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them.

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a stiff upper lip mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?” You are kind to yourself for failings and accept your humanness.

What are the benefits of self-compassion?

  • Emotional well-being.
  • Improved mood.
  • Less anxiety and stress.
  • Satisfying personal relationships.How can we motivate young children through the cultivation of self-compassion?

    Firstly, we must understand the meaning of self-compassion, recognise its benefits, and how it relates to motivation.

    Self-compassion is not about self-improvement, it is to

    ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE, AS YOU ARE

The three elements to self-compassion: mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness.

• Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment on purpose.

• Common humanity is recognition that suffering is part of the human condition.

• Kindness is treating yourself with the same kindness that you would treat a friend who was struggling.

Exercises that can be undertaken by children to help cultivate greater self-compassion.

Four helpful techniques

  1. Butterfly hug – start with a hug to yourself. Tap your fingers around your back. Tap, tap, tap
    like a heartbeat. Then whoosh your fingers, saying “magic dust”.
  2. Be barefoot – be aware of the sensation of your feet pressing down.
  3. Keep something small or precious, maybe a stone, in your pocket to soothe.
  4. 54321 – 5 see something, 4 hear something, 3 touch something, 2 taste something, and 1 smell something.

Books to share about compassion

The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Bao Luu (Puffin)

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriehoff (Little Brown)

Human Kindness: True Stories of Compassion and Generosity that Changed the World by John Francis and Josy Bloggs (What on Earth)