The Practice of Self Compassion

Tara Soloman-Smith, Family and Wellness Agent, Sunflower District of Kansas State University’s Extension Office. Submitted photo.

The Practice of Self Compassion


We all have an inner critic that says negative things. Some think it pushes us, but it can harm us. Being kind to ourselves is important for our well-being, especially during times of stress and suffering.  Self-compassion, which is relating to ourselves with kindness, care, and understanding instead of self-judgment, can help.


Researcher, Dr. Kristin Neff, talks about self-compassion having three parts:

  • Self-kindness

We are gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harsh and critical.

  • Recognition of our common humanity

Our shared imperfections and experiences of suffering are what unite us as humans, preventing feelings of isolation.

  • Mindfulness

we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.


The Great Good Science Center shares the benefits of practicing self-compassion:

  • It enhances well-being and motivation
  • It helps us to relate to and be present for others
  • When practiced, we become more empathetic and forgiving and can resolve conflict in healthier ways
  • When people are more self-compassionate, they are better able to cope with difficult life experiences.
  • Self-compassion is associated with higher self-efficacy, or confidence in one’s ability to succeed, and lower fear of failure
  • When self-compassionate people do fail, they use healthier coping strategies and are better able to bounce back.

For more information, contact Tara Solomon-Smith, [email protected], or call 620-244-3826.


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