Writing for Self-Compassion

This is a great writing practice to use when wanting to treat yourself with loving kindness and gentleness. I mention this in the video below.

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A lack of self-compassion is common in our highly competitive society. By learning to treat ourselves with kindness and compassion we can increase our contentment, emotional well-being, resilience, and courage. This exercise is designed to help cultivate and promote self-compassion through writing.



First, write about an aspect of yourself that you judge and dislike. Next, write a letter to yourself from the perspective of a good friend and then read it aloud while practicing taking in the good.

Complete Exercise 

Step One

  • Choose an aspect of yourself or life that you dislike and criticize. It can be something that makes you feel ashamed, unworthy, inadequate, or self-conscious. Examples may include appearance, career, relationships, health, etc.
  • Write in detail about how this perceived inadequacy makes you What thoughts, images, emotions, or stories arise when you think about it?

Step Two

  • Now, recall or imagine a friend or family member who is unconditionally loving, accepting, and
  • Imagine that this person knows everything about you, including your background, genes, upbringing, and who you really are as a person. Imagine they know all if the various factors and events that have lead up to your life right
  • Now write a letter to yourself from that friend about how they view and explain your perceived
  • Write from a place of deep kindness, understanding and non-judgmental acceptance.
  • Keep in mind that all beings are imperfect, and want to be happy and free from suffering.

Step Three

  • After you finish writing, read the letter aloud to yourself and pay attention to how it makes you
  • Later read the letter again, practicing taking in the good and experiencing how it feels in your body, heart, and
  • Feel the love, compassion, and acceptance that exist within


This method was adapted from Kristen Neff’s self-compassion exercise called Exploring Self-Compassion Through Writing. Additional exercises can be found on her website www.self-compassion.org


Don’t be discouraged if you do not immediately feel compassion for yourself after writing this letter. Self-compassion takes time to develop and you are taking steps to cultivate it by doing this exercise.

If you like, you can work with me privately on fostering more self-compassion. Contact me for details.

Deb Phelps

Deb Phelps

Deb Phelps is a certified Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, and Practitioner since 1980. She is also a Mindfulness Coach, Sound Energy Practitioner, and Yoga Specialist who uniquely assists her clients to overcome stress, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and other life situations so that they can once again live purposeful, joy-filled lives. Deb has overcome significant life challenges aided by a variety of mind-body-spirit practices. By diligently using these tools over many decades, she found a life of contentment and equanimity. Through extensive education and life experience, including living for one year in a spiritual community, she assists and inspires others to do the same. ~ Deb Phelps, C.MI, MMT, E-RYT500, LVCYT, YACEP

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