Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

The Power of Self-Compassion

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi! Welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today, we'll talk about how self-compassion eases anxiety and stress, soothes our nervous system, and calms our minds. So, some of us respond to anxiety when it arises with denial, we might try to push it away, or we might try to fight with it. Sometimes we might be frustrated, ashamed, or angry with it. And while there's nothing wrong with any of these emotions, they do have a tendency to intensify our difficult feelings, rev up our nervous system and pull us into reactivity and struggle.

So, what would happen if instead of fearing anxiety or fighting with it, we met it with kindness and compassion? What if we approached it with an open heart? So, although that might sound a little counterintuitive to open your heart to anxiety, it's actually a powerful way to regulate our emotions and finding a calm. So, according to professor Paul Gilbert, we have three types of emotional regulation systems. We've got the threat system, the drive system and what he calls, the soothing system. So, the threat system focuses on self-protection. It's our fight or flight response.

The drive system is reward-focused. It's involved in wanting, striving, achieving, and consuming. It's what helped our ancestors go and find food and make shelters and tools. The soothing system focuses on bonding and connection. It involves caring, kindness, and play.

In the soothing system, we feel more safe, relaxed, content, and connected. Now, when we're experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, we often get stuck in our threat system. And when that happens, we can start to feel frantic, revved up, reactive and unhappy. And if we're responding to that anxiety with anger, shame, fear, and struggle, we just get more stuck there. But if we can bring compassion and kindness to what's happening, we switch on our soothing system and we start to surround our anxiety with care, kindness, and soothing.

So when we switch that soothing system on, our brain also releases oxytocin, so we get this squirt of hormone that makes us feel connected, calm, and happy. So oxytocin is often called the cuddle hormone because of that sense of love and connection that it brings. It makes us feel safe. So by practicing self-compassion and kindness, what happens is we stop getting caught in that vicious cycle. We soothe our nervous system and bring kindness to ourselves when we need it the most.

So in today's meditation, we're going to practice in this way — bringing loving kindness to our feelings, to ourselves and to whatever arises.

Melli O'Brien

4.5

The Power of Self-Compassion

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi! Welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today, we'll talk about how self-compassion eases anxiety and stress, soothes our nervous system, and calms our minds. So, some of us respond to anxiety when it arises with denial, we might try to push it away, or we might try to fight with it. Sometimes we might be frustrated, ashamed, or angry with it. And while there's nothing wrong with any of these emotions, they do have a tendency to intensify our difficult feelings, rev up our nervous system and pull us into reactivity and struggle.

So, what would happen if instead of fearing anxiety or fighting with it, we met it with kindness and compassion? What if we approached it with an open heart? So, although that might sound a little counterintuitive to open your heart to anxiety, it's actually a powerful way to regulate our emotions and finding a calm. So, according to professor Paul Gilbert, we have three types of emotional regulation systems. We've got the threat system, the drive system and what he calls, the soothing system. So, the threat system focuses on self-protection. It's our fight or flight response.

The drive system is reward-focused. It's involved in wanting, striving, achieving, and consuming. It's what helped our ancestors go and find food and make shelters and tools. The soothing system focuses on bonding and connection. It involves caring, kindness, and play.

In the soothing system, we feel more safe, relaxed, content, and connected. Now, when we're experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, we often get stuck in our threat system. And when that happens, we can start to feel frantic, revved up, reactive and unhappy. And if we're responding to that anxiety with anger, shame, fear, and struggle, we just get more stuck there. But if we can bring compassion and kindness to what's happening, we switch on our soothing system and we start to surround our anxiety with care, kindness, and soothing.

So when we switch that soothing system on, our brain also releases oxytocin, so we get this squirt of hormone that makes us feel connected, calm, and happy. So oxytocin is often called the cuddle hormone because of that sense of love and connection that it brings. It makes us feel safe. So by practicing self-compassion and kindness, what happens is we stop getting caught in that vicious cycle. We soothe our nervous system and bring kindness to ourselves when we need it the most.

So in today's meditation, we're going to practice in this way — bringing loving kindness to our feelings, to ourselves and to whatever arises.

Melli O'Brien

4.5

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Recommended for you

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Join our free newsletter

Discover exclusive events, first access to new features, community stories, and a monthly curation of our best mindfulness insights.

By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds