By Trafalgar’s Editorial Team
This Content is Created By Liana Marie Danese, B.A, MACP, RP (Qualifying)
Hello and welcome my name is Liana Danese, I am an addiction counsellor working at Trafalgar Residence, and today I will be taking you through a compassion break meditation. Compassion break meditations were coined by psychologist Kristin Neff, who does a lot of research for self-compassion and self-esteem.
And so, Kristin Neff discusses three concepts that are really crucial in developing self-compassion for ourselves. The first thing that she talks about is this idea of mindfulness. And so when we are going through a difficult situation, we often try to distract ourselves to numb out those really uncomfortable emotions.
And in fact, Kristin Neff wants us to do the exact opposite of that. She wants us to be aware of what is going on, what we are feeling, be able to observe everything that we are going through in a difficult situation.
The second part of self-compassion breaks is this idea, this concept of common humanity, which basically discusses the fact that all human beings experience pain, experience suffering and so we are not alone in our pain and suffering.
Sometimes, when we are going through a very difficult time, we feel completely isolated. We feel like we are completely alone in our pain. And this is just a gentle reminder that pain is universal. Pain is essential to our growth. And so instead of fighting it, we must feel it and move through it.
Lastly, Kristin Neff discusses the concept of self-kindness. And so this involves really being a friend to ourselves in times where we would often beat ourselves up when we’re going through a difficult situation.
This is a way to help us self-soothe and get through difficult situations. So without further ado, let us settle in and begin our compassion, grace, meditation.
Allowing ourselves to find a comfortable place where we won’t be distracted. Getting into a comfortable position, either laying down or sitting up. Maybe placing the hand on the heart. And very gently closing our eyes. And focusing on our breath.
I Invite you to think of the situation in your life, that is difficult. Something that is causing you great stress. Allow yourself to call the situation to mind. And see if you can actually feel the stress and discomfort in your body.
Allow yourself to sit with this uncomfortable feeling. Just for a few moments. While using the breath say to yourself, this is a moment of suffering. This is the mindful aspect of compassion break allowing us to observe what it feels like, what our suffering and pain feel like within the body.
Continue to breathe and notice any feelings that arise, any sensations that arise. Repeating to ourselves over and over. That this is a moment of suffering. And just like any moment, it will also pass.
While, having this situation in mind, remind ourselves and say to ourselves that suffering is a part of life. This is what common humanity is all about. We must remind ourselves that we are not alone in our pain. We are not alone in our struggles.
There are others who may feel the same way that we do. And that all human beings struggle at some point in their lives. If you have placed your hand over your heart. Feel the warmth of your hands and notice the gentle touch of your hands on your chair. Allow this to ground you.
Lastly, say to yourself. May I be kind to myself? Maybe this is asking yourself, what do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself. Is there a phrase that speaks to me? In this particular situation. And if nothing else comes to mind, repeat the following phrases, either out loud or in your mind.
May I give myself the compassion that I need. May learn to accept myself as I am. May I forgive myself. May I be strong. May I be patient.
Repeating these phrases to ourselves as many times as we need. Always remembering that we can turn back to the breath. This practice can be used any time of the day or night as many times as you would like and will help you remember to invoke three aspects of self-compassion when you need it most.
Allow yourself to come back into the room that you are in. Maybe wiggling out the toes and the fingers. Creating small movements in the body. Gently opening your eyes and ending this meditation of with self-compassion and embrace.
Remember to be kind to yourselves. Thank you.