Are you familiar with the term self-compassion? Did you know that self-compassion is an opportunity to nurture or care yourself when you’re not feeling good about yourself in the moment? Think about the last time you failed, made a blunder or noticed something about yourself that you didn’t like. What was your reaction? Did you judge or criticize yourself? Or did you show yourself kindness, care and concern.
The Latin word for compassion means ‘to suffer with’. Take a moment and think about the last time you compassionately cared for and supported someone in distress. You might remember feelings of warmth, concern and a desire to help the suffering one.
Self-compassion works in the same manner. It is responding to your own suffering with kindness and care rather than self-loathing or pity. Self-compassion allows you to create a space for introspection not judgment while acknowledging your pain and taking care of yourself in the moment.
Many of us have grown accustomed to harsh criticism and put downs when we slip up. This can often lead to rumination and increased anxiety. Over the last decade or so, research has consistently shown a positive correlation between self-compassion and psychological well-being. People who practice self-compassion also have greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.
HOW TO CULTIVATE SELF-COMPASSION?
The first step is to embrace your humanity and acknowledge your imperfections. When we get right down to it, we are all flawed and that is okay. We don’t have to let our flaws define who we are and we are more than our imperfections.
Second, the practice of mindfulness can calm negative self-talk and criticism that fill our heads and leads to rumination. Mindfulness, or the state of non-judgmental awareness, is the antidote for both.
Third, seek support from a therapist who can help you identify ways to calm the inner critic and recognize that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone.
So, rather than isolating and trying to go it alone, contact me so we can discuss how I might be able to give you support you need.To learn more about self-compassion check out this resource: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/