Evoking your Compassionate self

Hi guys! Today’s post is on “Evoking your compassionate self”. This post will be very helpful to anyone who may be self-critical of themselves. Self-criticism can lead to low self-esteem and thereby having a negative outlook of your self-worth. When you are suffering low self-esteem, it can be very isolating. This can lead to loneliness and low moods. The first step to overcoming self-criticism, is showing compassion to yourself. Compassion, in how you are feeling or what you are going through at that time.

These exercises have also been practised on people going through bereavement. Grief and bereavement is a painful thing to have to experience. During this difficult time, a lot of people will go through a stage of depression, guilt or even self-blame. Evoking your compassionate self, can help you sit with and soothe difficult emotions. By acknowledging the pain that you are going through at that time and showing compassion to this pain. Below I have included three exercise that can evoke your compassionate self.


Exercise one: How would you treat a friend?

1. First, think of a time when a close friend is struggling in some way or may be feeling negative towards themselves. How would you respond to your friend in this situation? Write down what you would do to help, what you would say to them, and note the tone in which you would typically talk to your friends.

2. Now think about times when you are struggling or feeling bad about yourself. How do you typically respond to yourself in these situations? Write down what you would typically do, what you would say, and note the tone in which you talk to yourself.

3. Did you notice a difference? If so, ask yourself why. What factors or fears come into play that lead you to treat yourself and others so differently.

4. Write down how you think things might change if you responded to yourself in the same way you typically respond to a close friend when you’re suffering.

Exercise two: Evoking your compassionate self

To evoke your compassionate self, practice visualisation. For example, practice visualising giving compassion to someone with the same circumstances as yourself. Visualise every detail, to how the person looks or what you would say to comfort them etc. Or visualise giving compassion to yourself.


Exercise three: Compassionate meditation

To evoke your compassionate self, place your hand over the area of your body where you feel pain and direct these thoughts towards it:

  • This is a moment of suffering
  • I am not alone
  • This hurts
  • We all struggle
  • I am going to be ok
  • May I accept myself as I am
  • May I be patent
  • I am going to get through this
  • I am not alone

“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery and for joy”

Niamh-Psychotherapist xx 


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