Self- Compassion is such an alien experience to me. I spend most of my time telling myself what I should be doing better, what I’m bad at and what I need to do more of. Yes, I’m a therapist but believe it or not therapists have issues too.
So what is this self-compassion thing you ask? In essence, it’s about being kind to your self. Paul Gilbert explains it is a way for ” people to develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing’. It helps us address difficulties with self-criticism, shame and self-hatred all underlying components of common mental health problems.
He explains the human brain has evolved in a way that serves primitive life well. Its primary function is to keep us alive. Humans have developed the capacity to think about and mull over the past (ruminate, to learn from past events) and the future (worry, to prevent bad things happening). It has however not evolved to maintain a healthy or positive mindset but a ‘threat mindset’.
So what can we do about this mindset we have evolved?
Being more compassionate with our selves is an amazing way of soothing our shame and become less ‘threat’ focused. Ask yourself the following questions. What would a friend say about my flaws? How would a friend convey deep compassion he/she feels for me? What would a friend say in order to remind me I am just human? Sit an reflect on these responses notice how it makes you feel.
Art can be a facilitator of self-compassion it allows us to access and express difficult emotions and according to leading trauma researcher Nick Grey develop healthier perspective’s of ourselves after traumatic events
Nick Grey spoke of a client he worked with and talked about how drawing images of her traumatic experiences (she attempted suicide) allowed her to access a well of difficult emotions and feelings she had buried away. Once they were brought to the fore, the client continued painting, this time painting images of herself as a ‘good person, a strong person’. These images overtime allowed her to view herself differently.
I think we can all use art as a tool for our own emotional wellbeing. Drawing, painting, sketching etc can all be amazing ways of processing difficult experiences and changing negative perspectives we have of ourselves.
Why not join me at an upcoming workshop to explore how using art can allow you to grow in self- compassion.
Have you ever wondered how you can develop more self-compassion? Have you ever thought how can I be kinder to myself? Have you ever considered how you could do this through art?
Mind Canvas presents a workshop exploring compassion with the use of art.
Art can convey a million messages and has been an age-old way of expressing feelings. Find out how to use art to be more compassionate.
DATE: Saturday 22nd June
TIME: 10:30AM -1:30PM
LOCATION: The Book Club – Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH
PRICE: Early Bird: £25 / General Admission: £30