Tap Into the Power of Self-Compassion

Available with English captions and subtitles in Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish.

Self-compassion, by definition, is acting kind while forgiving and nurturing yourself—but that’s just scraping the surface of its impact. It can improve your relationships, your well-being, and your mental health, including reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.

While some people are more compassionate to themselves than others, it can be learned and applied to your own life.

Audience Questions

David H. Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, explains the impacts of self-compassion on our mental health, shares simple ways that we can become kinder to ourselves, and answers audience questions about how we can foster more compassion for ourselves and for one another.

  • What is self-compassion and how can having a good grasp on self-compassion be impactful in our own lives, as well as the lives of others?
  • Psychologically, why are we so comfortable with beating ourselves up?
  • Is self-compassion especially difficult in American culture?
  • Do you find that the rise of technology/social media has led to less self-compassion?
  • If the expectation has been set that we should “always be on,” how do we break the cycle of shaming ourselves for things like “needing a break?”
  • How do we talk to those we care about to enroll others in changing our thoughts and behaviors?
  • Do you have advice around applying self-compassion when food is used as a coping mechanism?
  • How do we address others about their lack of self-compassion?
  • Do self-compassion and mindfulness complement one another? Can you have one without the other and still feel its effects?
  • Can childhood trauma contribute to self-blame, beating oneself up, and a lack of self-compassion?
  • What do you do if you have difficulty identifying emotional needs?
  • How can being kinder to ourselves impact our mental health?
  • Is making people aware of using the word “should” a possible start to helping others find self-compassion?
  • How do you teach self-compassion to children and adolescents who struggle with low self-esteem?
  • If a person who struggles with self-compassion consistently interacts with someone who focuses on what this person does not do well, how would this person address this?
  • What are some simple ways to shift our thoughts from shame about ourselves towards more compassionate, accepting thoughts?
  • How can we apply self-compassion to setting goals?
  • How do you help individuals practice self-compassion without shifting blame onto others?
  • What can happen if a person with low self-worth keeps their locus of control outside of themselves?
  • As a parent of a teen, how do you balance being compassionate with pushing your teen to achieve more than what they believe is possible, or to just put in more effort?
  • For adults who experienced judgment from their parents in childhood, do you have any practical advice about how to reduce the self-critical voice in their heads?
  • I have a sense of urgency at work to resolve every issue that is presented immediately, despite this being impractical. How can I apply self-compassion in this situation?
  • What resources are available to help us have more self-compassion?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Dr. Rosmarin

David H. Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, is the director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital and an associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He supervises the provision of spiritually integrated services in clinical programs throughout the hospital’s divisional structure and collaborates with laboratories to study the clinical relevance of spirituality to anxiety, mood, psychotic, substance use, and other disorders.

Learn more about Dr. Rosmarin.

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Originally aired on December 2, 2021