Self Compassion as a Cure

To counteract the damaging effects many life situations pose on our nervous system and health, emerging science supports self-compassion exercises as a vital healing practice to strengthen the Vagus nerve.

Being generous and self-compassionate with oneself is not as simple as it seems. It turns out that most people find it easier to be hard and demanding with themselves, and actually more forgiving of others.

We are being attacked by life

Daily, we have to ward off attacks on our life and well being. Everything from bad news, traffic delays and sleepless nights, to ill health, financial troubles and disturbing neighbours. 

To counteract the damaging effect this constant bombardment poses on our nervous system and physical health, emerging science supports self-compassion exercises as a vital restorative practice.

Compassion allows one who has lost, or is suffering, not to be defensive about the loss and not to experience shame for the suffering.

Counteracting the damages

According to the recent Polyvagal theory, our nervous system is made up of 3 neural circuits that support different types of behavior:

  • Social engagement – pleasant behaviors in safe environments
  • Fight or flight
  • Shutting down 

In troubling, stressful and dangerous situations, our fight, flight and shut down circuits are activated. But to counteract the wear and tear that living poses on the vagal nerve, it is important to regularly boost the third circuit, the one of feelings of pleasantness, joy and compassion. 

Health benefits of a strong nervous system

The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve, communicating with the major organs. It extends from the brainstem and winds through the body, branching multiple times to connect with all of the major organs. That is why there are so many health benefits to prioritising compassion training during particularly tough times and unpleasant situations. 

Areas of improvement when boosting the vagus nerve:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Depression
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Heart rate changes irregularities
  • Heartburn
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Weight gain

It is simple and very powerful

Polyvagal theory suggests that playful arousal and restorative surrender have a unique and healing nervous system influence. Positivity and joy in a calm, pressure free and safe place is crucial to allow the nervous system and healing mind to activate the health building functions.


Learn how in 6 steps

Compassion is a powerful feature of human experience and is a key component of individual, interpersonal, organizational and societal well-being. According to Stanford University’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Program, it is a fundamental skill that can be trained in 6 steps:
  • Settling and focusing the mind
  • Loving-kindness and compassion for a loved one
  • Compassion and loving-kindness for oneself
  • Embracing shared common humanity and developing appreciation of others
  • Cultivating compassion for others
  • Active compassion practice (Tonglen)


Start practicing today 

Since self-compassion is not as easy to implement as it might seem, I invite you to improve your self healing skills and to boost your self compassion, using the Joy Mastery System >. Sign up today – Be sure not to miss out.

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I’d love to help you! Hello, I’m Joanna Armstrong, and I have been a therapist and mentor since 2009. Primarily, I use the unusually efficient method called Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT-tapping, with my clients. 

You are welcome to try it for yourself >

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