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Self-compassion means being kind to ourselves as we are, despite any mistakes we think we’ve made. Using the loving-kindness technique, you’ll uncover the self-love that already exists within you and practice unconditional friendliness toward your mind.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Hi, and welcome to this 10-session Headspace course focusing on self-compassion. In this first session, we're going to start wherever we are and create an awareness of what self-compassion is for us. I was taught that self-compassion is an unconditional friendliness towards self. So despite the mistakes that we've made, self-compassion is the ability and practice of being kind towards ourselves, and also recognizing that as humans, we all make mistakes, but that doesn't mean that we aren't worthy of kindness. So maybe you came to this course wanting to learn how to love yourself more, wanting help with your negative thoughts or negative self-talk, or just curious about self-compassion. Wherever you may find yourself and whatever brought you here, it's important that we establish a starting point. My hope for this course is that we can remember to cultivate self-compassion because this quality is innate within us as human beings. Self-compassion already exist within and is readily available. Sounds impossible, I know. But the thing is there's usually certain thoughts and feelings, experiences that cloud our view of these qualities. Our job here is to uncover what has been buried from the everyday ups and downs of life. So we'll be using the loving kindness technique to help us, where we'll be sending a loving presence to ourselves and others. We'll do this using three phrases, may I love myself as I am, may I accept myself as I am, and may I live at ease with who I am. And it's the feeling and intention behind these words that can truly make an impact. And with this practice, at first it may seem a bit funny, maybe a bit awkward. It may even be a bit overwhelming. But over time, working this compassionate muscle, we'll notice a slight change in the way that we relate to ourselves and others. And if at any time this practice does become a bit overwhelming, please listen to your body and do what's best for you. So that means you can open your eyes or change your posture, or even take a break. So with that, let's just begin to settle in as much as we can, positioning the body upright in a relaxed and present manner. Spine tall, shoulders relaxed, and eyes open to a soft and gentle gaze. And when you're ready, taking some deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. And if you'd like, closing the eyes on the next exhale. Returning the breath back to its natural rhythm. And just drawing the gaze inwards into the body. Feeling the weight of the body, sink down into the chair or floor beneath you. And then noticing any sounds around you in your space. And just gently bringing the focus back to the body now. And we'll take a few moments here just to connect to the different sensations within the body. So starting from the top of the head, working your way down towards the...


# of sessions10
Duration10-20 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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Frequently asked questions

  • It is a quirk of human nature that people are usually the most unkind and most critical of themselves, especially when going through a challenging time. The inner-critic can be loud. The negative self-talk can be unforgiving. The self-judgment can come all too quickly. Self-compassion meditation is a practice in turning all that around. It is a practice in self-love, in positive self-talk, and loving kindness directed inward. Headspace’s self-compassion meditation course will teach you, day by day, to be more gentle with yourself and more accepting of who you are. And when that happens, self-compassion spills over into compassion for others.

  • The first step in a self-compassion meditation is bringing awareness to how you currently speak to yourself in the privacy of your own mind. You start to notice the tone of your inner-dialogue, or how hard you are on yourself. Armed with that awareness, you go into a meditation with the intention of being kinder, gentler, and more patient with yourself. Because if you can be kinder to yourself, you can accept who you are; and if you can accept who you are, you can love yourself as you are — and it’s that level of self-acceptance and self-love that lies at the heart of a self-compassion meditation.

  • The more you get into the habit of extending to yourself warm wishes, loving expressions, and positive affirmations, the more self-compassion will come naturally. Our Self-Compassion course, led by Dora Kamau, offers a good example of how best to approach a self-compassion meditation, and what phrases to use and repeat as part of the exercise: “May I learn to trust myself as I am” … “May I learn to accept myself as I am” … “May I learn to believe in myself as I am”. It is a powerful exercise in connecting with yourself in the most loving, compassionate way.

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