Do you struggle with self compassion? Are you hard on yourself? Do you find it difficult to be as kind to yourself as you are to others? Are you tired of being hard on yourself? Let’s see if any of the following examples sound like conversations going on in your mind:
- “Gosh…! you can be so stupid sometimes.”
- “Why would he be attracted to YOU?”
- “You’re just going to screw this up.”
- “I hate being so hard on myself but I am too weak to stop it.”
These are things you would probably never say to another human being. But how many of us have that inner critic that says these kinds of things all the time.
Being hard on yourself is exhausting.
Most of us treat ourselves far more harshly than we would anyone else. The depression and anxiety people feel often stems from a dysfunctional relationship they have with themselves.
But every day is a chance for you to develop a loving and self compassionate relationship with yourself. And the best way to do that is to practice self compassion.
Steps to Self Compassion
If the concept of self compassion seems foreign to you or you are even uncomfortable with the idea of showing yourself compassion, then please keep reading to learn some simple but profound ways you can begin to practice self compassion as a way to connect lovingly with yourself.
Self Compassion Tip 1: Become More Mindful of Your Feelings
Self compassion is the pathway to emotional healing. But to begin, you must become more aware of your own emotions, especially as they relate to yourself.
Gain some awareness of when you are emotionally struggling with something. Perhaps you are feeling confused, desperate, or inadequate. Ordinarily, in these moments your inner critic may strike. But now, try and offer yourself kindness instead.
You may say something to yourself like, “I know you’re disappointed. I also know you did your best. And I am so proud of you.”
If you are at a loss for the right words in these moments, simply talk to yourself as you would a friend, or better yet, a small child.
Tip 2: Monitor Yourself
Until you become used to being self compassionate, you’ll want to monitor the language you use. You are most likely so used to criticizing yourself that it will be far too easy for the wrong choice of words to come out. That’s okay. In these moments you certainly don’t want to scold yourself. Just be aware and make a self compassionate correction.
Tip 3: Get Physical
There’s a phrase that says, “get out of your head and drop into your body.” This is a perfect way to begin the ritual of self compassion.
Begin to use kind physical gestures with yourself as a way of practising self compassion. This could be gently stroking your cheeks and temples when you’re stressed, holding your hand over your heart when you’re sad, or holding your own hand when you feel lonely. Any physical gesture, so long as it’s loving, will help you show yourself true love, kindness, and self compassion in those moments.
For some people who have very low self-esteem, showing themselves compassion may prove to be incredibly difficult. In these cases, it’s a good idea to speak with a therapist who can help uncover where the feelings stem from and how a person can change their thoughts and behaviour.
If you are interested in exploring treatment options, please get in touch. We would be happy to see how we may be able to help.
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