Like many things in life, it’s often useful to have a guide to support us learning something new. Below are a variety of audio files that are designed to support you developing your compassionate mind, and more generally, self-compassion. They can be used alongside Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), self-help reading (e.g. The Compassionate Mind Workbook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Compassionate-Mind-Workbook-step-step/dp/1472135903) or one of Compassionate Mind Training courses

Mindfulness of Sounds

Mindfulness can be a powerful route in to cultivating awareness and stabilising the mind. In this short, focused attention or ‘anchored’ mindfulness practice, you will be guided to hold mindful awareness to sounds that you can hear around you.

Mindfulness of body and breath

In this focused attention or ‘anchored’ mindfulness practice, you will be guided through the process of gently holding awareness in the here-and-now, initially to your body through a ‘body scan’, and finishing with mindfulness of breathing.

Soothing Rhythm Breathing

A key aspect of Compassionate Mind Training is in helping to cultivate the soothing system. This exercise is designed to explore how using body posture, breathing, and inner speech can give access to a sense of slowing down and groundedness.

Calm Place Imagery

Imagery can have a powerful impact on stimulating our physiology, as well as our feelings and emotions. Because of this, it can be a powerful way to develop the physiology and emotions of the soothing system, and compassion more generally. In this exercise, you’ll explore how developing an image of a real place you know or a fantasy, can help to stimulate a sense of calmness & contentment.

Compassionate Memory

We can become familiar with a compassionate part of ourselves by using memory. This exercise explores how using memory can be a powerful way to re-connect with a compassionate motivation. When practicing this exercise, use a memory that is not of a time that the other person’s distress was very high, as this is likely to stimulate too much threat system activation.

Developing the Compassionate Self

This exercise draws from memory, imagination & acting techniques to help develop a part of you that is compassionate. It focuses on three core aspects of compassion - wisdom, strength and commitment. Although it can feel slightly alien at first, this type of exercise can have a powerful impact on developing greater compassion, as well as reducing shame & self-criticism.

Directing the Compassionate Self – to a stranger

When people think of compassion, they often hold in mind that it is towards other people. In this exercise, you’ll have the opportunity to see how we can further develop the idea of the compassionate self but this time direct to other people (here, a stranger)

Directing the Compassionate Self – to someone you care for

Another way to get in contact with the compassionate part of you is in embodying and directing this to other people - in this exercise, the flow of compassion to others is to someone you care for and have positive feelings towards.

Direction the Compassionate Self – to ourselves

Whilst being compassionate to others can bring powerful, positive changes in our life, it’s also essential that we learn how to become more compassionate to ourselves. In this exercise you’ll be guided on practicing self-compassion, through a time you were struggling.

Developing your ideal Compassionate Other

Research has found that creating images of compassionate others can have a powerful impact in helping to manage distress and increasing levels of self-compassion. In this exercise, you will be guided through the steps of developing an image a compassion other, and what it’s like to experience receiving compassion from them

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