Kindness to yourself


When a person close and important to us encounters difficulties, most often we feel for them. We want to say supportive, soothing words, be with them, hug them. At the same time, when we ourselves encounter difficulties and failures, most of us allow our inner critic reproach us. Treating ourselves like this, we disturb ourselves even more, rather than help ourselves to handle the difficult situation, as we refuse to use such a powerful tool as self-support.

Compassion/kindness towards oneself is not self-pity, but rather warmth, care and well-wishing – when we treat ourselves like our best friends.

Research confirms that people who treat themselves with kindness feel happier, they have a greater satisfaction with life and motivation to operate; they have better, deeper relationships and physical health, as well as less pronounced symptoms of anxiety and depression. These people also have endurance which is necessary to handle stressful life events

Advice for the coach: try to speak in a calm and relaxed voice, and make small pauses in the places where there is …….. (ellipsis)

Instructions (15 min)

  • Find a stable, comfortable position, close your eyes… make several deep breaths and during the exhalation, allow the extra tension in your body decrease… And, if you prolong this exhalation a little, very lightly and slowly, you will notice that your body relaxes even more profoundly… Relax your body weight, let it go; allow yourself to drown in the surface that you are sitting on… If you feel any tension in your body, let it go during the exhalation;
  • Relax your shoulders, face muscles, paying attention to your forhead, eyes, jaw, mouth, as well as arms, hands; your hands have to be in your lap or pressed against your thighs… your arms have to be free and relaxed… as well as your legs;
  • During the exhalation allow your mind activity to relax… allow your thoughts to relax, to come and go; at this moment, don’t develop them, but allow them as if to flow past you;
  • Imagine or recall a person towards whom you have warm, heartfelt feelings. Maybe it is someone from your family, or a friend, or another person, or maybe an animal… While thinking about this person or animal who prompts heartfelt feelings, allow this feelings of goodness to develop, feel it in your body, in your heart area… Wish them well in your thoughts, think – may you be healthy and happy… While breathing in, think about this person and while breathing out, express a wish… You can choose what phrase you would like to use in your wish – either you wish them health and happiness, or well-being…
  • Notice the emotions that you feel while thinking about this person and wishing them well…… Try to feel these emotions as intensely as possible, allow them to flow into your body…… and now direct this flow of kindness and warmth towards yourself……
  • If you feel comfortable, you can place your palm in the middle of your chest (on the sternum)…. Make several deeper inhalations and exhalations…. And then lightly, calmly and kindly focus the attention on your palm against the centre of your chest and feel as the warmth and a heavy pleasant feeling appears there… Feel as the breathing moves your chest, then your palm;
  • You observe your breathing and at the same time, with kindness and warmth towards yourself, say May I feel good and May I feel free… I can be free of pain, free of fear… May I feel good, may I feel free… Hold the attention at the centre of your chest........ The breathing flows through your chest and with it – the kind wishes to yourself: may I feel good, may I feel free, may I be happy, may I succeed;
  • Feel this compassion, kindness towards yourself, dedicate emotional care and well-wishing to yourself. Feel the hand touch your chest as warmly as a mother or a father touch their child. And, if you want, you can make one step further and imagine as someone hugs you – in a way that a parent would hug a child who is suffering…. If you feel sad or hurt at the moment, if you feel ready, you can hug yourself for real, encircle yourself with your hands and feel the warmth of your hands…. Hug yourself in a way that you would hug someone close to you, trying to warm and calm them;
  • You can say a special phrase to yourself, for example: “I can feel happy again. The pain will go away now”;
  • Feel peace and relaxation in your body;
  • At the end of the activity, turn attention to your breathing again, and concentrate on it alone for a moment… Breathe in calmly and deeply, breathe out slowly, breathe in again, and breathe out… In your thoughts, thank yourself for devoting this time to self-care… and slowly open your eyes;