Therapists

Find a Therapist

Book your intro session with a therapist

Therapy

From Surviving To Thriving: Cultivating Self-Compassion

Anjna Champaneri, ACSW

As a therapist, I've had the privilege of witnessing the transformative power of self-compassion in identity exploration, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community. In a world that can often be unkind and unaccepting, we can easily adopt a harsh and perfectionistic inner voice in a protective effort to avoid incurring the negative judgments of others. Rather than helping us thrive though, these harsh inner critics can keep us feeling unsafe and stuck in survival mode. To truly thrive, I believe it's crucial to cultivate a deep sense of curiosity, acceptance, and self-compassion to move through the world with the profound self-love necessary for freedom and authenticity.


Cultivating Self-Compassion
 

Self-compassion is a particularly vital tool for anyone who may face societal pressure, discrimination, and internalized shame. By letting go of harsh self-criticism and embracing our imperfections, we can begin to heal the wounds of past experiences and build a more authentic life. By treating ourselves with curiosity and gentle kindness, we can cultivate greater self-acceptance, inner calm, and emotional safety with others. All of which also allows us to kindly hold ourselves accountable and make the changes we aspire to without spiraling into fear, guilt, and shame.

As a therapist, I've had the privilege of witnessing the transformative power of self-compassion in identity exploration, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community. In a world that can often be unkind and unaccepting, we can easily adopt a harsh and perfectionistic inner voice in a protective effort to avoid incurring the negative judgments of others. Rather than helping us thrive though, these harsh inner critics can keep us feeling unsafe and stuck in survival mode. To truly thrive, I believe it's crucial to cultivate a deep sense of curiosity, acceptance, and self-compassion to move through the world with the profound self-love necessary for freedom and authenticity.


Cultivating Self-Compassion
 

Self-compassion is a particularly vital tool for anyone who may face societal pressure, discrimination, and internalized shame. By letting go of harsh self-criticism and embracing our imperfections, we can begin to heal the wounds of past experiences and build a more authentic life. By treating ourselves with curiosity and gentle kindness, we can cultivate greater self-acceptance, inner calm, and emotional safety with others. All of which also allows us to kindly hold ourselves accountable and make the changes we aspire to without spiraling into fear, guilt, and shame.

As a therapist, I've had the privilege of witnessing the transformative power of self-compassion in identity exploration, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community. In a world that can often be unkind and unaccepting, we can easily adopt a harsh and perfectionistic inner voice in a protective effort to avoid incurring the negative judgments of others. Rather than helping us thrive though, these harsh inner critics can keep us feeling unsafe and stuck in survival mode. To truly thrive, I believe it's crucial to cultivate a deep sense of curiosity, acceptance, and self-compassion to move through the world with the profound self-love necessary for freedom and authenticity.


Cultivating Self-Compassion
 

Self-compassion is a particularly vital tool for anyone who may face societal pressure, discrimination, and internalized shame. By letting go of harsh self-criticism and embracing our imperfections, we can begin to heal the wounds of past experiences and build a more authentic life. By treating ourselves with curiosity and gentle kindness, we can cultivate greater self-acceptance, inner calm, and emotional safety with others. All of which also allows us to kindly hold ourselves accountable and make the changes we aspire to without spiraling into fear, guilt, and shame.

Cultivating Compassionate Curiosity

Identity exploration is a deeply personal and often complex journey. Who are you, beyond the labels and expectations of others? What are your unique experiences, values, and desires? By taking the time to reflect on these questions with curiosity and self-compassion, we can unlock a deeper understanding of ourselves, and develop a unique personal compass for our lives. 

Be patient and gentle with yourself as you embark on this meaningful journey of self-discovery. When challenges arise in understanding and accepting yourself, practice self-compassion. Recognize that identity exploration is difficult for everyone. Treat yourself with the same patient kindness you'd offer a friend. This may involve positive self-talk, intentional self-care routines (sleep, nutrition, and movement), and connecting with supportive others. 

When we understand, accept, and validate our feelings, needs, wants, and boundaries, we develop a unique personal compass for our lives that allows us to live with greater self-awareness, authenticity, and fulfillment by making choices aligned with our true self. 


Cultivating a Compassionate Community

The process of self discovery is not without its challenges. We may encounter moments of doubt, uncertainty, or even resistance from others. Remember, you don't have to navigate this journey alone. Surround yourself with a compassionate and supportive community of friends and family. Building a compassionate community starts with fostering genuine connections and creating spaces for shared understanding. Encourage empathy and active listening to ensure everyone feels heard and validated. Join a community of fellow seekers who can relate to your experiences. Participate in regular gatherings where members can share their experiences in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Promote acts of kindness and inclusivity, celebrating diversity and supporting each other's growth. Talk with a therapist who can offer a compassionate and non-judgmental space to explore and grow, and support the development of a self-compassionate inner voice. Together we can celebrate your victories, process your struggles, and continue to deepen your compassionate self-understanding as you truly thrive.

Ready to start?

Here are some specific ways you can begin practicing self-compassion today:

Affectionate Breathing
Breathe slowly and deeply, imagining warm, compassionate energy flowing through your body. This can help replace fear and anxiety with calm and safety in our body which allows our thoughts and self talk to shift too.

Supportive Touch
Use physical touch, like placing a hand over your heart, to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and feel calm, cared for, and safe.

Recognize Common Humanity
Reduce feelings of isolation by reflecting on how your experiences are part of the shared human condition. Remember that whatever you’re feeling, people throughout time and at this very moment have felt the same. You are part of the human family.

Compassionate Self-Talk
Replace harsh self-criticism with more gentle, understanding language. Speak to yourself the way you would a dear friend. Or adopt the kind, fair, supportive voice of a kindergarten teacher helping an overwhelmed and struggling child.

Mindful Self-Compassion
When you're feeling self-critical, take a moment to put your hand on your heart, acknowledge your difficult feelings, and tell yourself that it's okay to be going through a hard time. Recognize that whatever you're experiencing is part of the shared human condition. You are not alone.

Write a Letter to Yourself
Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of a close friend or the kindest person you've ever known. Imagine what they would say to you to offer kindness, understanding, and support regarding your challenges.

Self-Compassion Journal
Write about your day through a lens of self-compassion, intentionally processing difficulties with kindness rather than harsh judgment.

Share This Article

Book Your Intro Session With A Therapist

Find A therapist

Read more from the blog

Read more from the blog

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.


Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917) 426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.


Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917) 426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

& New York

352 7th Ave, Suite 1201

New York NY 10001

In California

606 N Larchmont Blvd, 4 B, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Limited in-person availability:

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.

Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917) 426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.

Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917)426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.

Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917)426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Book your intro session with a therapist

Book your intro session with a therapist