How Does Self-Compassion Help with Overwhelm? — 6 Comments

  1. Imogen, this is just perfect, and incredibly timely for me as well. Thank you so much. I wish you luck, self-compassion and much kindness of all kinds as you go forth down this road with your long-distance parents. <3

  2. I really like the mantra. It takes me back to the metta meditation I have done on retreats…
    My I be happy; may I be well; may I be free from suffering.
    May he/she be well etc
    May they be well etc
    …emphasising that compassion for others begins with myself.

    Being totally frank I’m not able to put self-compassion into practise when I’m overwhelmed, stressed or upset. With that tight feeling in my chest and my mind hopping around like a grasshopper it’s a big ask to focus on yet another thought. What works better for me is (just) mindfulness, focus on the physical feeling – where it is and how it feels, and notice the grasshopper mind. When I’m calmer (chest eases, mind cooler) I can take a clearer view, and what really helps me then is free-writing. To that end, here is my attempt at a personal mantra…

    I am free to notice where my mind is.
    Stuck in the same old cruddy ruts.
    I am free to notice where and how it feels
    Or simply take peace in mindfulness.

    • I agree. Simply noticing comes first and foremost. In Neff’s definition, mindfulness is definitely a part of self-compassion. Neff suggests you practice your mantra often, so it is more likely to be accessible when the time comes, which makes sense. I would also advise people to be aware of their contact with the ground, or surface beneath them, for instance – something physical that roots you in the here and now.

      The “metta meditation” you describe sounds like the Loving Kindness Meditation which is lovely.

  3. I needed to read this today Imogen, your own mantra is lovely and gentle, I’ve written in down😊…..our body believes every word we say. Alexander Technique for me is a wonderful tool….I’ve been a pupil for many years, enjoy reading your blogs, thanks for taking the time to write them and for being so honest.

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