Compassion, according to Merriam Webster, is ...
“sympathetic consciousness of a person’s distress and the desire to alleviate it.”
When applied to your self and not to others, it becomes “self compassion.”
When Maria suffered a loss of employment and breakup with a friend during the Covid lockdown, she felt so downtrodden and depressed.
She found her self drinking and smoking heavily to avoid negative feelings. Eventually she developed recurring bouts of sleeplessness and anxiety panic.
In her therapy sessions, self-compassion is one of the therapeutic things she learned to deal with her difficult emotions.
A key discovery for Maria was her frequent tendency to self-criticize. The self-criticism was closely linked to her worsening depressive state.
She recognized she’s suffering with this. But then, she learned to develop deeper self awareness and begin practicing skills of kindness towards her self during her moments.
Gradually, Maria’s road to self-compassion alleviated her depression and bolstered her positive states of being as well.
“Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than flagellating ourselves with self-criticism ... Self-compassion recognizes that life challenges and personal failures are part of being human ... “
— Kristin Neff