Mental Health | Mindfulness | Love
Self compassion is key
It’s linked to reduced levels of depression.
We’ve been taught that self compassion can undermine our motivation. We were told if we are kind to ourselves, we’ll get lazy and we won’t try hard enough to achieve goals. This blocks our ability to be compassionate with ourselves.
Research shows the opposite happens.
If we’re hard on ourselves, we become afraid of failure. Then we fail more often and sometimes that causes us to give up.
My self-compassion practice has helped me through some difficult times.
I’ve been in situations where I’ve had intense feelings of disappointment and grief.
When I comfort myself, that comfort has helped me get through.
By allowing myself to feel what I was feeling, I moved into acceptance of the situation much more quickly.
The more compassion and love that I gave to myself, the more compassion and love I brought to the situation. When you do this, it helps you maintain your self confidence and you’re more likely to try again.
We are good at being kind to our friends when they are struggling, but we aren’t very good to ourselves.
It’s important to treat yourself with the same kindness, care, support and understanding that you would show to a really good friend.
Tell yourself, ‘Yes, you failed, but I love you anyway. I want you to succeed, how can I support you?’
A consistent practice of self compassion will help you thrive:
- Have the courage to be present with your emotions as they are happening. Mindfulness is a foundation of self compassion.
- Notice that you are suffering. Just say something like, this is really hard right now. I’m having a hard time right now. Validate what you are feeling. Pause and ask — what do I need in this moment?
- Give yourself some words of kindness. Put your hands on your heart, hug yourself. Say to yourself the thing that you might say to a good friend. Use supportive language in a warm tone. I care, I love you. I’m not leaving.
- Recognize that you’re not perfect and remember you’re not the only one. You don’t live a perfect life; no one does. That’s what it means to be human. If you allow yourself to realize your humanity you can connect with others who are going through similar struggles.
When you’re able to be kind to yourself in small ways, you’ll begin to notice big changes in your life.
- New to writing? Create an account on Medium and let’s get started.