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How to cultivate self-compassion

Part 3: You Are Loved (Affirmations)

It’s true, people love you.

Research shows the more we practice being kind to ourselves, the more we increase and strengthen our self-compassion habit. One way we can practice self-kindness is through one of our favorite mental health tools, positive affirmations.

With inspiration from one of the world’s leading self-compassion expert, Dr. Kristin Neff, we created a 4 part series on cultivating self-compassion through writing. Today we’re working on rehearsing the internalized voices of all those who have been kind to us through positive affirmations. 


So many people think that if they just accomplished enough, succeeded, and had something to show for it, they would be happy with themselves. But your self-worth isn’t defined by your career, how many social media followers you have, or the number on the scale. Self-compassion understands this and knows that your worth isn’t defined by external things. You are worthy because you exist. Those who deeply love and care for you know this and in their best moments, they help you feel it.

For this exercise we ask you to tap into the love that you have felt from others and use them to create positive affirmations.


For this self-compassion exercise we ask you to try for a moment to remember the kindness you’ve experienced from others. Think about the comforting words from friends, family, teachers, or strangers. What did they say to root you on or to encourage you? Write them down. If you’re having a hard time thinking of anything, try thinking about those who gave you love as a child. A parent, guardian, babysitter, or anyone who helped you to feel safe and loved. What did did they tell you when you cried or had a bad day? Here are some ideas:

  • I love you.

  • You are strong.

  • You are funny.

  • Just try your best.

  • It’s okay, you’re okay.

  • You’re safe here.

  • I’m here for you.

  • I will protect and take care of you.

  • Who cares what they think?

How to use them.

The key is to repeat these statements consistently, if you don’t necessarily agree with them now, no worries at all! Fake it until you make it! If after time you feel that an affirmation is negatively affecting you, it’s okay to stop using it. Try finding a more reasonable and attainable one to replace it. You can repeat these every morning before work or school, or even use your phone to record yourself reciting your affirmations to listen on the go. Whatever works best for you is the right way.

Need help getting started with self-compassion journaling? We created a free self-paced 5 day self-compassion journal challenge. Click the button below to sign up.

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