Konul Surofchy, MS, LMFT, and founder of Therapology said that a lot of the work she does with her clients who have depression focuses on self-compassion. She believes focusing on self-compassion works because people often tend to experience isolation, self-critical dialogue, avoidance, or over-identification with the thoughts and feelings that come up around anxiety and depression.
"A self-compassion frame of mind shifts these patterns by incorporating three elements including self-kindness, common humanity (this teaches us we're all connected, not alone, and that we all experience highs and lows), and mindfulness," Konul said. Whenever you notice something you deem to be a shortcoming, instead of attacking yourself, Konul said to offer yourself unconditional acceptance and warmth. "Self-compassion opens us up to attending to our feelings and pain in a mindful, accepting manner without judgement. We are not avoiding our pain, nor are we becoming our pain, we are more so objectively observing it take place," she explained.
To practice self-compassion, Konul said, "I encourage daily writing for approximately five minutes or more." She also recommends writing a list of the things you're grateful for daily or freestyling and writing all the feelings you've experienced in a given day. If this helps you feel better, you can and should continue to journal, but Konul also recommends working with a nonjudgemental professional to better manage your anxiety and/or depression.