“A moment of selfcompassion
can change your day. A string of them can change your entire life.”
“A moment of selfcompassion can change your day. A string of them can change your entire life.”
MSC was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy ( www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org ) and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of selfcompassion ( www.SelfCompassion. org ). MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and selfcompassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing—being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Selfcompassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we're hurting. Research has shown that selfcompassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and wellbeing in our daily lives.
MSC can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we’re suffering—cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering.
Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention whenever you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in the direction of our attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.
A randomized, controlled trial demonstrated that MSC significantly increased selfcompassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, and life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress. Improvements were linked to how much a person practiced mindfulness and selfcompassion in their daily lives.