Life with a Hint of Compassion

Maria is sitting and smiling with Rowan Hall in the background.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Having compassion with oneself goes hand in hand with being compassionate with others quite often.

According to self-compassion researcher Kristen Neff, “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.”

Maria sits outside of Wilson Hall.

Self-compassion is the measurement of how delightfully you treat and speak to yourself. Instead of just ignoring and being dismissive of your pain, compassion would look like reminding yourself “this is really difficult right now.”

This would be preferred, as opposed to telling yourself “everyone goes through this; suck it up!”

By validating our own experiences, we make ourselves feel more accepted whether we realize it or not.

Emotion validation has quite a number of benefits. One of its greatest benefits is that it allows us to learn to better regulate our emotions. Emotion regulation enhances long-term well-being, improves relationships and helps aid better performance at work.

Maria sits on steps facing the Engineering Hall pond.

With self-compassion, there are three components that come with it. The first is self-kindness vs. self-judgement. Second is common humanity vs. isolation. Last is mindfulness vs. overidentification. When we have these components in mind, we can start noticing our own judgments about the pain we go through.

Think about how we treat ourselves, and then think about how we treat other people.

What does that look like? Are we compassionate?

Maria stands in front of Engineering Hall.


Neff, Dr. Kristen. “Definition and Three Elements of Self Compassion: Kristin Neff.” Self-Compassion, 9 July 2020,

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Story by:
Maria Espejo, senior psychology major, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, business management major

Produced by:
Joseph Conte, junior community and environmental planning major

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