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Developing a self-compassionate mind

'Compassionate mind' is a psychological term that refers to a state of mind where we are kind and understanding towards ourself, and we are able to offer ourself the same compassion, care, and understanding that one would offer to a dear friend.

It involves being understanding and accepting of our weaknesses and limitations, and treating oneself with kindness and compassion rather than self-criticism and harsh judgment.

Compassionate mind is also the name of a therapeutic approach that supports people to develop this way of thinking and feeling. Developing a compassionate mind towards ourself involves cultivating self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-compassion.

Compassionate Mind and GOGL

These three components are heavily related to the three ACTS of GOGL, by design. ACT I being the developing of psychological understanding of our past and how that changed us (self-awareness), ACT II supports us to relate to our current needs and to accept them with understanding and compassion (self-acceptance) and ACT III supports us to develop a loving relationship with ourselves (self-compassion).

Beyond the core-programme, which is laid out as a journey - it is important to also practice self-compassion at a pace that suits us. For some this is daily, others it is when they feel most at need.

How is it practiced?

Classically, there are several exercises that can be used to develop a compassionate mind. Many of these we recommend. There are others, more specific to recovery from abusive relationships which we also provide in this resource are. The most common approaches suggested by Compassionate Mind practitioners include:

  1. Loving-kindness meditation: This type of meditation involves silently repeating phrases of loving-kindness and compassion to oneself and to others. It can help to cultivate feelings of kindness, compassion, and connection.

  2. Self-compassion breaks: During a self-compassion break, you take a few minutes to pause and offer yourself compassion and understanding in a difficult moment. This can involve speaking to yourself in a kind and understanding way, or simply taking a few deep breaths and reminding yourself that you are not alone in your struggles.

  3. Gratitude journaling: Writing down a list of things that you are grateful for can help to shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones, and can also help to foster a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the good things in your life.

  4. Random acts of kindness: Performing small acts of kindness for others can help to cultivate feelings of compassion and connection, and can also help to shift your focus away from your own problems and challenges.

  5. Planned acts of kindness: Planning and learning to perform similar acts for yourself.

  6. Self-compassionate letter writing: Writing a letter to yourself from the perspective of a compassionate and understanding friend can help to build self-compassion and self-acceptance.

By practicing these and other exercises regularly, you can support your work in the GOGL programme to develop a more compassionate mind and cultivate feelings of self-worth, self-acceptance, and inner strength.

Don't try to remember these, we have provide a quick go to collection of links that detail each and offer actual exercises you can use.


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