Könül Surofchy, MS, LMFT, a psychotherapist in private practice at 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, and mindfulness," Könül said. Whenever you notice something you deem to be a shortcoming, instead of attacking yourself, Könül 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 judgment. We are not avoiding our pain, nor are we becoming our pain, we are more so objectively observing it take place," she explained.
If you want to practice self-compassion, Könül encourages "daily writing for approximately five minutes or more." She also recommends listing the things you're grateful for or writing all the feelings you experienced in a given day. If this helps you feel better, you can and should continue to journal, but Könül also recommends working with a nonjudgmental professional to better manage your anxiety and/or depression.