Rose Breathing: De-Stress & Show Compassion for Yourself

I often notice when working with client’s who’ve been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease that they don’t have compassion for themselves.  Instead, deep down they sometimes feel guilty, embarrassed or ashamed for having been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or Graves’ especially when they’re doing all the right supplements, meds, foods, seeing the right doctors, doing all the right tests and more and not getting any better. In my eBook, Hashimotos: Finding Joy in the Journey, I discussed the emotional realm of healing Hashimoto’s specifically forgiveness, love and trust.


We are spiritual beings.  Health isn’t just about the physical body.  To think all that is needed to heal Hashimoto’s is to take all the right pills and supplements, do all the right tests, eat the right foods, do the right exercise, etc., is almost just as mechanistic as mainstream medicine’s symptom-management approach.  In autoimmune disease particularly, we must also embrace and nurture our emotional and spiritual self.  Wholeness, or whole-health is what holistic medicine is about:  mind, body, spirit and emotional health, and I’m a holistic nurse so I am mindful of all aspects when I’m working with a client.

Also, negative or self-defeating thoughts are just as inflammatory and damaging to you on the whole, just as any toxin or the wrong food would be.

So, today I’m focusing on compassion.

synonyms:  empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity
“have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”

Do you have compassion for yourself?  Do you have the same type of love for yourself as you do your child, spouse, beloved friend or even a pet?  Can you look in the mirror and say “I love you” and mean like you would if you were saying it to a loved one?  Or, does this seem silly, useless or does it make you feel like your not worthy? If so, that’s OK, just know if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you may have some work to do.

Aren’t we commanded to love ourselves?  Yes we are… “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Maybe some of this resonates with you or it doesn’t at all – and that’s okay…

You can still try Rose Breathing to help reduce the effects of stress.

So try this exercise.

Rose Breathing provides relaxation and renewal for your entire being.  It combines deep breathing with the imagery of roses:

“Sit quietly.  Imaging yourself smelling roses.  Inhale through your nose & hold your breath for as long as you can, then release rapidly through your mouth.  Notice the whole process – when you smell the roses; when your abdomen rises and falls.  The hidden rose scent prompts you to breath deeply (physical benefit). The rose represents the love you feel (emotional/spiritual benefit).  Take a quick break; turn your focus to the rose, and breathe to recharge your energy.”

You can also practice Rose Breathing with friends and family, in the car, in the doctor’s office or at home for more energy and better concentration.



  1. Huang, N. (2014) Rejuvenate your compassion through meditation, rose breathing & acupressure. Beginnings 34(5), pp. 24-25. American Holistic Nurses Association.