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MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION

SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN METHODS

 

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) methods partner with Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT). MSC provides action-oriented, evidence-based practices that build your Soothing System, decrease depression and anxiety, recover from PTSD, increase motivation, goal-achievement, self-kindness, emotional health, and authentic, connected relationships.

 

7 BENEFITS OF MSC

MINDSET + ACTION-ORIENTED SELF-CARE

"YOU'RE ALREADY STUCK WITH YOURSELF FOR A LIFETIME. WHY NOT IMPROVE THIS RELATIONSHIP."

Vironika Tugaleva

Woman Cooking in Kitchen

1SELF-WORTH AND WELL-BEING

MSC provides (1) a mindset that sets the foundation for self-connection and (2) action-oriented self-care methods. MSC methods are scientifically proven to calm the nervous system, boost feelings of self-worth, self-confidence and improve overall well-being.

2BREAKTHROUGH PATTERNS

Hundreds of studies prove that when you’re caught up in Fight-or-Flight mode with self-criticism (berating) or self-neglect (passive) you’re likely more stressed, less likely to see clearly, more apt to fail, get taken advantage of, have increased patterns of addiction and other forms of maladaptive protective patterns that result in anxiety, depression and relationship dysfunction.

3OVERCOME OLD PROGRAMMING

We learn to be passive, berating, neglecting, abusive, or inconsistent towards ourselves by internalizing how we were treated growing-up. We have the power to free ourselves from the shackles of unbalanced self-parenting methods. With time and practice, Self-Compassion can become our new programming.

4PROVEN PTSD RECOVERY

Research shows that veterans, who strengthened their ability to be kind to themselves with MSC have exceptionally higher rates of recovery, for conditions such as PTSD and substance use disorders. https://self-compassion.org/the-research/

Heart Shape

“If you are continually judging and criticizing yourself while trying to be kind to others, you are drawing artificial boundaries and distinctions that only lead to feelings of separation and isolation.”

Kristin Neff, PhD

Happy Female Gardener

5MAKES US HAPPY

Action-oriented Self-Compassion practices activate the pleasure centers in our brain, including increasing oxytocin production (our 'feel good' neurochemical and 'love hormone'). 

6MAKES US ATTRACTIVE

A kind, self-compassionate heart radiates attractive qualities. Self-Compassion also allows for a calmer nervous system that creates a trusted, positive 'vibe.' https://self-compassion.org/the-research/

7MAKES US HEALTHIER

Self-compassion yields a number of benefits, including reduced inflammatory response, increase immune function, greater heart rate variability, regulation of emotions, healthier eating behaviors and more.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779931/

 

SELF-COMPASSION IS BALANCE

SELF-COMPASSION MINDSET + ACTION-ORIENTED SELF-CARE

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival."

Audre Lorde

Without a foundation of Mindful Self-Compassion we tend to get stuck in Self-Permissive or Self-Critical - patterns and can swing from one extreme to the other subconsciously.

"WE CAN'T JUST CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY, BUT WE CAN CHOOSE TO BE KIND TO OURSELF WHEN WE'RE SAD. PAIN PASSES MORE QUICKLY WHEN WE DON'T BERATE OURSELVES FOR FEELING."

Lori Deschene

LESS

SELF-COMPASSION

  • Stressed Nervous System

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Maladaptive Patterns

  • Tend to Repress Emotions

  • Self-berating and Shame

  • Loneliness

  • Relationship Distress/Abuse

  • Fogginess/Confusion

  • Lack of Purpose

  • Reactivity and Outbursts

  • All or Nothing Thinking

  • Lack of Goal Attainment

  • Emotions Consume or Overwhelm You

MORE

SELF-COMPASSION

  • Access to Calm

  • Capacity to Self-sooth

  • Sense of Well-being

  • Creative Solutions

  • Able to Process Emotions

  • Self-Forgiveness

  • Sense of Belonging

  • Nurturing Relationships

  • Clarity

  • Sense of Purpose

  • Mindful Responses

  • Balanced Thinking

  • More Goal Attainment

  • Emotions Inform and Motivate You

"Painful feelings are, by their very nature, temporary. They will weaken over time as long as we don’t prolong or amplify them through resistance or avoidance. The only way to eventually free ourselves from debilitating pain, therefore, is to be with it as it is. The only way out is through."  

Kristen Neff, PhD

 

UNDERSTANDING MSC

SELF-COMPASSION IS NOT PITY OR LAZY 

Woman with Sports Bag

SELF-PITY VS SELF-COMPASSION

Many people fear Self-Compassion is just a form of self-pity! Yet, Self-Compassion is an antidote to self-pity. Self-pity is isolating and results in feelings like "Why me?" and "Poor me.” The Self-Compassion mindset recognizes life is hard for everyone, yet we can persevere. Self-Compassion says "I Can!"

LAZINESS VS SELF-COMPASSION

A huge misconception in our society is if you aren’t hard on yourself, you won’t succeed and you’ll get lazy or weak. “I berated myself to get stuff done. How else would I prove I was smart or worthy enough to be valued or loved?” This is based on false beliefs.

SELF-CRITICISM DOESN'T WORK

Our brain interprets harsh inner criticism (Inner Critic) the same way it does an external threat - triggering the fight-or-flight, stress-response, inhibiting access to rationale Higher Cortex. You may be so used to psychologically whipping yourself self you're unaware of it.

SELF-CRITICISM IS TOXIC STRESS

Self-criticism is like quicksand. It may look like a sandy short-cut to success by giving you a quick jolt of action, but long-term it slows you, sinks you, and undermines long-term goals. Elevated stress chemicals (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.) wear on you physically, mentally and emotionally - resulting in toxic stress, exhaustion, feeling 'stuck,' and depression.

Woman Baking

"OUR MOST BASIC EMOTIONAL NEED IS NOT TO FALL IN LOVE, BUT TO BE GENUINELY LOVED... THROUGH choice and LOVING ACTION."

Loving ourselves is a choice and self-LOVING ACTION.  

Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages

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MINDFULNESS VS MSC

Mindfulness focuses primarily on acceptance of experience itself. Mindful Self-Compassion focuses more on caring for the experiencer (you).

 

Mindfulness asks, “What am I experiencing right now?" Mindful Self-Compassion asks, “What do I need right now?”

Mindfulness says, “Feel your suffering with spacious awareness.” Mindful Self-Compassion says, “Be kind to yourself when you suffer.”

“Once we start basing our self-esteem purely on our performance, our greatest joys in life can start to seem like so much hard work, our pleasure morphing into pain.”

Kristen Neff, PhD

 

 

the 3 aspects of msc

SELF-COMPASSION MINDSET + ACTION-ORIENTED SELF-CARE

Work Station

1COMMON HUMILITY

We are not alone. Being human is imperfect. Pain is inevitable. Feeling inadequate or like a failure is common. Yet, with compassion and support we can learn lessons from tragedies, failures and pains, and heal through suffering.

2SELF-KINDNESS

Action-oriented self-care methods, including simple comforts and balanced self-guidance. Learn from our past, find calm in the present, and plan for the future.

3MINDFULNESS

Feeling the present moment with awareness and acceptance. Observing your emotions, inner dialogue and self-talk, and practicing Emotional Health Skills

 

THREE ASPECTS OF SELF-COMPASSION

 

SELF-COMPASSION IS BALANCE

YIN (FEMININE) + YANG (MASCULINE)

"When we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved."

Kristen Neff, PhD

 

BACKDRAFT EMOTIONS

THE “GROWING PAINS” OF TRANSFORMATION

 
Fire Show

It takes courage to change how you treat yourself. Why? When you start practicing self-compassion, you come head-to-head with backdraft.

OLD REPRESSED PAIN

It can be unsettling when you expect to feel better, only to feel suffering at first. However, backdraft is a sign that healing has begun. Backdraft refers to pain – old repressed pain – that arises when you give yourself kindness and compassion.

 

Backdraft is a firefighter term to describe what happens when a door is opened, flames rush-out as fresh oxygen rushes in. Similarly, we experience fiery, overwhelming pain, as we open the door of our hearts to the fresh air of self-compassion.

'Soft, Sooth and Allow' is a guided practice from Dr. Kristen Neff that helps process through Backdraft and painful emotions . It's helpful to have Emotional Health Skills and Inner Critic awareness as well. Backdraft can be emotional, mental or physical.

 

EMOTIONAL BACKDRAFT

Can feel like deep shame, grief, and sadness. You may feel angry at yourself for neglecting your feelings for so long. Heavy tears may appear out of nowhere.

MENTAL BACKDRAFT 

Includes thoughts like, “I'm lazy,” “I'm a failure,” “I’m unlovable.” Inner Critic may lure you into looping thoughts, berating, and over-analyzing.

PHYSICAL BACKDRAFT

Body memories, digestive ailments, aches, and pains. You may feel vulnerable with an overwhelming need to clam-up and retreat into solitude as you process old emotions. 

Image by Alexandra Gorn

 

WHAT IS BACKDRAFT?

 

PROCESSING BACKDRAFT & SHAME

"The goal of Self-Compassion practice is to become a compassionate mess. All of our issues - like entitlement, anger, and self-LOATHING will be there, but can we hold them with compassion so we're not overwhelmed by them."

Kristin Neff, PhD

 

FIVE MYTHS OF SELF-COMPASSION

"MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION IS ABOUT LEARNING TO BE AWAKE. BEING AWAKE IS ABOUT RECOGNIZING THAT YOU ARE NOT YOUR INNER VOLATILE STREAM OF THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND SENSATION. LIKE CLOUDS PASSING THROUGH THE SKY, THESE THINGS COME AND GO. BUT THEY ARE NOT YOU."

Aletheia Luna

 

SELF-COMPASSION PRACTICES

WRITTEN PRACTICES + GUIDED PRACTICES

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fears of compassion

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relating to yourself

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conscious

complaining

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VALUES

WORKSHEET

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signs of self-neglect

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self-compassion

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love is a verb

5 SELF-love languages

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PROCESS PAINFUL EMOTIONS

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daily simple comforts

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OXYTOCIN BOOSTERS

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SOOTHING

SYSTEM

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INNER CONNECTING JOURNALING

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JOURNAL QUESTIONS 

 

GUIDED PRACTICES

 

SOOTHE PAINFUL EMOTIONS

AND BACKDRAFT

CULTIVATE COMPASSION

RAIN OF SELF-COMPASSION

BUILDING CONFIDENCE

DEVELOPING COMPASSION

mindfulness

 

LEARN MORE

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daily EMOTIONAL

HYGIENE

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GROUNDING

EXERCISES

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inner critic WORK

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EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS

 

If you are experiencing a crisis or an emergency dial 911 or Crisis Response at 602.222.9444

© 2020 Copyright Creating Your Balance LLC

Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.  It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care.