Have you ever been angry at yourself? Or have you been really disappointed with yourself after not doing well on a task? If yes, you are not alone. Most of us have a critical voice within ourselves, looking closely at all our actions and passing judgments now and then. This critical voice can sometimes be helpful, but it can really damage our confidence if it continues to interfere with our daily lives. At such times, self-compassion can be an effective way to deal with this critical voice. 

Understanding Self-Compassion?

In simple terms, self-compassion is the act of being kind to ourselves. It involves treating ourselves with empathy and understanding when we make mistakes, rather than looking at ourselves with judgmental eyes. Self-compassion has three important elements, which are:

  • Being Kind to Yourself
  • Remembering that everyone goes through tough times and makes mistakes
  • Being aware of your thoughts and feelings without being too hard on yourself.

Self-compassion is often misunderstood as selfishness, but in reality, being compassionate to oneself is likely to make people more empathetic and compassionate towards others, improving the quality of their relationships. Some people also mistake self-compassion for self-pity, but in reality, self-compassion is just about accepting our emotions, which helps us manage them in better ways. Thus, self-compassion is a crucial part of the physical and mental well-being of humans.

Is Self Compassion Helpful?

The idea of self-compassion and being kind to oneself might sound different to most people, especially when they think about it for the first time. However, research suggests that self-compassion can bring various benefits. Some of them are:

  • Being compassionate to oneself can help regulate the nervous system in the body, leading to feelings of safety and calmness. Thus, self-compassion can help reduce stress and anxiety
  • Self-compassion boosts self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Self-compassion helps improve the quality of existing relationships
  • It allows people to learn from their mistakes, thus helping them cultivate a growth mindset
  • Research suggests that adopting a compassionate mindset helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Self-compassion improves overall quality of life and leads to increased life satisfaction

How To Cultivate Self-Compassion?

Being kind and self-compassionate can seem difficult, especially when one is just starting to adapt to the idea. However, one can learn self-compassion through consistent effort. A few ways to increase self-compassion are:

  • Increase self-awareness

Self-awareness is usually the first step towards self-compassion. Start by paying conscious attention to your thoughts and feelings, and take a few days to observe your internal dialogue or the way you talk to yourself. This will help you become more aware of the critical voice. One way of increasing self-awareness is by maintaining a journal for your thoughts and feelings.

  • Practice Acceptance

A crucial aspect of self-compassion is accepting your feelings and mistakes without judgment. So, remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay to learn and grow from them. Blaming yourself and being self-critical can only make things difficult.

  • How Would You Treat a Friend?

When faced with self-criticism, imagine a friend in the same situation. Consider the comforting words you would offer them, and extend the same compassion and understanding to yourself. This will help you shift from self-criticism to self-compassion

  • Professional Help

Sometimes it can be very difficult to adapt to self-compassion, especially when self-criticism has been a long-standing pattern. In such situations, a trained therapist can help address the root cause of self-criticism and help you move towards self-compassion as well.


Self-compassion can be an effective way to cope with mistakes and difficult life situations. Remember that it is not about being selfish or easy on yourself; it is about being kinder so that you feel confident about yourself. Being compassionate to oneself is not a luxury, but it is one of the most basic and critical elements of mental and physical well-being


  1. Benefits of Self-Compassion: 7 Benefits and How to Practice. (2013, June 13). Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/blog/practicing-self-compassion-when-you-have-a-mental-illness
  2. How to Practice Self-Compassion: 8 Techniques and Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2024, from https://positivepsychology.com/how-to-practice-self-compassion/
  3. Neff, K. D. (2009). The Role of Self-Compassion in Development: A Healthier Way to Relate to Oneself. Human Development, 52(4), 211–214. https://doi.org/10.1159/000215071
  4. Self-Compassion. (n.d.). Self-Compassion. Retrieved January 26, 2024, from https://self-compassion.org/
Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin