This post contains some of the best self-compassion journal prompts.
What Is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion is not self-pity.
Self-compassion doesn’t mean you don’t hold yourself accountable.
Self-compassion is accepting and honoring your humanness, including your imperfections and the fact that we all make mistakes.
Self-compassion is treating yourself as you would a dear friend who is in pain.
Dr. Kristin Neff, pioneer of self-compassion, identified 3 key elements of self-compassion (Source):
1. Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment.
Rather than criticizing ourselves when we suffer, we can practice being gentle with ourselves.
In the same way you’d comfort a dear friend who’s in pain, you extend compassion to yourself and show yourself kindness and understanding.
- It’s okay to feel this way.
- I’m doing my best and that’s good enough.
- I forgive myself.
2. Common humanity vs. Isolation.
Self-compassion entails recognizing that suffering is something that we all go through and that we’re not alone in our suffering.
Common Humanity Statements:
- I’m not alone in this.
- Everyone makes mistakes.
- I’m only human.
3. Mindfulness vs. Over-identification.
Self-compassion requires recognizing our suffering in a balanced way, rather than suppressing it or exaggerating it.
This means being able to observe our difficult emotions with openness and without judgment.
It also means seeing our situation in a larger perspective by relating personal experience to others who are also suffering.
- I’m not my thoughts or emotions.
- I choose to be present with this feeling.
- My feelings don’t define me.
Self Compassion Journal Prompts
1. What do you need right now?
2. How would you like to feel today? What’s one thing you can do to cultivate this feeling?
3. Who in your life is nonjudgmental, safe, and genuinely have your best interest at heart? How can you spend more time with these people?
4. What emotions have you been having a hard time feeling lately?
5. What is one healthy thing you can so to uplift your mood when sad or stressed out?
6. What one self-care practice you can add to your routine to feel more joy or calm?
7. How can you be a nurturing parent to yourself?
8. What is preventing you from being compassionate to yourself? What is one small step you can take to overcome this obstacle?
9. What standards you have of yourself have you been pressuring yourself to meet? How can you adjust that standard to be more realistic?
10. What is one thing you can let go to create more space for rest and self-care?
11. What stressful circumstance are you currently experiencing? If you had a friend in the same situation, what advice would you give them?
12. If you loved yourself fully, how would you treat yourself every day? What’s one small step you can take towards that?
13. Did you recently make a mistake? What can you say to yourself show yourself more self-compassion?
14. What’s one important thing that you feel scared to do? How would a close friend encourage you to overcome that fear?
15. Are you holding a grudge against someone? What could you do to forgive and let go?
16. What is one thing you can forgive yourself for?
17. What in your life right now are you grateful for?
18. Write down a few self-compassion affirmations you can use when you need support.
The following are some examples:
- I accept the best and worst aspects of myself.
- It’s okay to make mistakes and forgive myself.
- I love and accept myself, even when anxious.
- I will treat myself with kindness and respect.
- I care about myself enough to want the best for me.
Self-Compassionate Statements PDF
- Self-compassion – Wikipedia
- Give Yourself a Break: The Power of Self-Compassion (hbr.org)
- Kristin Neff Argues Self Compassion Works Better Than Self Esteem – The Atlantic
- 15 Most Interesting Self Compassion Research Findings (positivepsychology.com)
- The Role of Self-Compassion in Development: A Healthier Way to Relate to Oneself – PMC (nih.gov)
- The influence of self-compassion on emotional well-being among early and older adolescent males and females – PMC (nih.gov)
- The Scientific Benefits of Self-Compassion – The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (stanford.edu)