What Being Kind To Yourself Really Means and How to Practice It

Most of us have trouble being kind to ourselves and taking the time to understand our feeling, and often ignore them or push them aside. It is more important now to be kinder to ourselves, after two years of being in a pandemic and facing uncertainty. This post is to those who are tired of the lockdown and are to those who are disappointed about how they progressed this year. Remember we all had our hurdles, and that it is okay to have not achieved all of the things you wanted this year. So before entering 2022, let’s all learn what self-compassion is and how to practice it.

What does Self-compassion mean?

Self-compassions mean reciprocating compassion that one gives to others, to themselves in situations of failure or general suffering.

Dr.Kristen Neff, who studied self-compassion, says that self-compassion is when you stop ignoring your pain or your suffering, and accept it and tell yourself that you are having a hard time, and ask yourself what you can do to comfort yourself.

According to Dr. Neff, there are three elements of self-compassion: self-kindness vs self-judgment, common humanity vs isolation, mindfulness vs over-identification:

  • SELF-KINDNESS VS SELF-JUDGMENT: People who are self-compassionate know that being imperfect or having flaws is just a part of our life, and thus they are not too harsh on themselves. However, when people deny their failures or reality where not everything goes their way, it leads to frustration and stress.
  • COMMON HUMANITY VS ISOLATION: Self-compassion involves realizing that everybody goes through difficulties in our life and that ‘I’ am not the only one going through hurdles and obstacles in our life. All humans go suffer, it is shared within us all.
  • MINDFULNESS VS OVER-IDENTIFICATION: We need to be mindful of our emotions and our thoughts and what we are feeling as it is. We need to observe our emotions through a non-judgemental and open lens. We should not over-identify with our thoughts and go down a hole of negative thoughts and react negatively.

How To Practice Self-Compassion?

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

Correct your mindset: Focus on how to be more kind to yourself, and differentiate between yourself as a whole and your behavior.

Be kind to yourself: You need to speak kindly about yourself and think kindly about yourself. Talk to yourself like how you talk to your best friend.

Forgiveness is key: Forgive yourself for your mistakes. We all make them. It is tough to do so, but just remind yourself that what happened has already happened, and you cannot go back. So forgive yourself and move on.

Do activities that you enjoy: Allow yourself to feel happy because you deserve it! Taking time to do something you love is a form of compassion!

Create connections with others!: Once you open your true self to others and find a common ground with others, you will notice that you are not alone in this struggle to accept yourself. Everybody has struggles to treat themselves kindly. Having strong emotional ties with others will help you deal with your own problems.

Self-compassion is a way of emotionally recharging our batteries. Rather than becoming drained by helping others, self-compassion allows us to fill up our internal reserves, so that we have more to give to those who need us.

Kristen Neff

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