There are many outcomes to practicing self-compassion that we can all reap the  benefits from including decreased feelings of anxiety and depression. However, I  have specifically found that starting a self-compassion practice is a vital part of the  OCD treatment process. Practicing self-compassion can help people with OCD  better manage their feelings of guilt and shame that often come with having the  disorder. 

Self-compassion is often misunderstood as being “too positive” and even  sometimes viewed as “weak”. People often express to me that they fear losing  motivation and letting themselves “off the hook” if they are too compassionate to  themselves. If you were raised in a family or culture where the message was often  touted to “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” or that “expressing feelings is  weakness”, it’s not a surprise that practicing self-compassion may feel, well,…. too  compassionate. The lack of familiarity with self-compassion may produce some  temporary uncomfortable feelings when you begin to practice; However, many  people find that they soon feel a significant improvement in their mood and anxiety  levels. 

A common concern for many is that practicing self-compassion will let them “off  the hook”. When reflecting on whether or not self-compassion will produce a lack  of motivation or any other negative outcome, I often ask people whether they find  the validation and compassion they receive from good friends as demotivating.  When a friend validates your feelings and gives you compassion, do you feel “lazy”  and “unmotivated” as a result or do you feel understood and possibly even more  confident in yourself? If other peoples compassion feels helpful to us, what makes  us think that self-compassion would be any different?

So what are some ways to start a self-compassion practice? Here are some reflective  questions and exercise to try out to get started: 

If you are struggling with OCD and you feel you need some extra help in practicing  self-compassion, reach out to inquire about OCD treatment.