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How to Take a Self-Compassion Break


A Tool to Build Self-Compassion (Adapted from Neff, 2016

The Self-Compassion Break is an informal practice based on

being kind and compassionate with yourself in times of

suffering. Choose phrases from each step that resonate with

you or make up your own compassionate responses.

Step 1. MINDFULNESS: “This is a moment of suffering…

I am really struggling… This is really hard right now.” So,

instead of overly identifying with your difficult emotions or

trying to push them out of awareness, you turn toward the

pain, acknowledge it and name it.

Step 2. COMMON HUMANITY: “Suffering is part of life…

Many people are going through similar situations.” In Step 2

you recognize that suffering is an integral part of life and that

you are not alone. The shame that results from harsh inner

criticism often generates a sense of isolation that is reduced

by acknowledging your common humanity.


placing your hands over your heart or any other place on your

body that feels comforting. “May I be kind to myself in this

moment.” Rather than becoming critical or frustrated because

you fail or feel inadequate, talk to yourself in the way you

would comfort a dear friend who was suffering. Adopt a tone

that is warm, kind and gentle, while accepting the imperfect

nature of human reality.

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