Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
WHAT IS MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION?
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience.
Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing—being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, empathy and understanding so that we can soothe and comfort ourselves when we're hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
MSC can be learned by anyone. It's the practice of repeatedly evoking goodwill toward ourselves especially when we're suffering - cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering. Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention whenever you needed it most? All that's required is a shift in the direction of our attention—recognising that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.
Learn more from Kristen Neff, the pioneering researcher in self-compassion and co-founder of the MSC program.