Do you you want to know how to be kinder to yourself? Do you want to learn about mindful self-compassion?
Mindful self-compassion involves being kind to yourself and not judging yourself. Mindfulness is about being aware and present-moment focused.
How much self-compassion do you feel you have for yourself right NOW?
Looking back on my life I realize how hard I have been on myself and how I have judged myself.
In my twenties, I wondered when I would find the career of my dreams, the job I wanted or the relationship I desired. I would get upset at myself when I felt I wasn’t where I should be at that stage in my life.
I can reflect on times when I felt I was not good enough physically – not beautiful or sexy. My legs weren’t right, my curves were in the wrong places, amongst a number of other things!
Later in life, I can think of many times when I scolded myself for not doing a “good enough” job as a mother. I remember days leaving work and being upset at myself for not being able to finish something I felt I should have.
Can you relate to any of this?
WHY are we so hard on ourselves? What happened to being grateful for all that WE do have and ARE able to achieve?
What about simply being KIND to ourselves and saying it’s OK.
And not fretting so much about what we thought we should have done (or not done!).
Accepting who we are – as the beautiful and unique individuals we are!!
Try this exercise to help you reflect:
FIRST, reflect on how you would treat a friend or family member who was upset, in pain or suffering? Close your eyes and really visualize yourself sitting with this person, hearing what they are saying. Consider your body language, how you would listen to him or her, what you may or may not say. Close your eyes and take your time to visualize and reflect on this.
NEXT, close your eyes and see yourself feeling upset or hurt. Reflect on how you would treat yourself if YOU were upset, hurting or suffering? What do you say to yourself, how do you act towards yourself?
Not the same is it!!
Now why is it even important to have self-compassion?
Research ha shown that self-compassion is associated with increased psychological well-being (Neff, 2009). Higher levels of self-compassion are linked to increased feelings of happiness, optimism, curiosity and connectedness; as well as decreased anxiety, depression, rumination and fear of failure.
So next time you catch yourself judging yourself or beating yourself up about something you did or didn’t so, said or didn’t say – remember the research. And MORE importantly, remember how you would treat that dear friend or family member when they are upset, hurt or suffering. And treat yourself the same way.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!