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  • Compassion means “To suffer with”
  • You feel warmth, caring and the desire to help a suffering person in some way


  • Giving yourself the same care and kindness you’d give to others
  • Instead of just disregarding your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “I’m struggling right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
  • Honouring and accepting your humanness
  • The more you open your heart to the reality that pain/struggle/failure exists, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and others
  • Plays a promising role in providing novel, safe and effective complementary pain reduction and management strategies as part of a biopsychosocial approach to pain care

When you’re in a moment of suffering/struggle, give the following a try:


  • Notice, acknowledge and accept that you are in a moment of suffering
  • Become aware of the breath, the general state of the body, energy level and any judgements the mind is creating

The Humanity Connection

  • Recognize you are not alone in this
  • Repeat this mantra: Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu – meaning “May the whole world attain peace and harmony.”
  • This chant helps create a greater capacity for love to all sentient beings and harmoniously connects you with humanity


  • Extend kindness towards yourself through karuna mudra, a yoga hand mudra conveying a gesture of compassion
  • Cup the hands and place them in an asymmetrical prayer position
  • As you breathe in, imagine the breath is softening the area around your heart, and repeat silently to yourself, “It’s OK.”
  • As you breathe out, imagine letting go of any tension around the heart and repeat, “This is enough,” in a tone that is patient, soothing and forgiving
  • Repeat this for a few slow breaths
  • Use whatever mantra/affirmation provides you with a sense of kindness and self-love

Source: Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain


  • Prioritizing yourself and taking good care of yourself is vital, but it becomes even more important when you live with extra challenges like chronic pain conditions
  • Doing all you can to help yourself by making good choices and being active in doing things that improve your life and help you function
    • This can help you to gain confidence, especially as you see the positive results of your actions on improving your mood and quality of life

 3 Areas that Involve Self-Care

Area Focus Self-Care Activities
Physical Condition

Managing your symptoms and ensuring you’re doing all you can to minimize them

  • Symptom monitoring
  • Taking medications/supplements
  • Attending appts with healthcare practitioners
  • Practicing therapy methods at home
  • Reaching out for help when needed
Everyday Tasks

Doing all you can to maintain a healthy routine

  • Showering/bathing
  • Eating well-balanced meals
  • Mindful movement
Mental Health

Understanding that your illness does not define you and disallowing your symptoms to hold you back

  • Talking to a therapist
  • Setting life goals without allowing your condition to limit you
  • Finding balance and setting aside time to do things that really nurture your happiness