Be Kinder to Yourself
Love yourself. This comes easy when the universe conspires to shower you with fortune and success. You stand tall and proud as you embrace your wins and achievements. It is when your life goes astray that you forbid yourself from feeling happy and good. When you are not considered for a promotion or you are having a serious conflict with your spouse, you start to berate yourself.
Being kind to yourself can sometimes be difficult especially when you fail to achieve a milestone you have longed for. You blame your mediocre educational degree, your impoverished stature, or your lack of the right attitude that made you unfit for reaching the top.
Self-kindness is being kind and understanding toward yourself. It is all about accepting your mistakes and knowing that you can always choose to try again or move forward. Being kind to yourself is your way of telling everyone around you to treat you right and with respect. Above all, self-kindness helps you to be a more contented and happier person.
Developing Self- compassion
Self-compassion is used synonymously with self-kindness. Kristen Neff PhD definition of self-compassion is it “entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.” In addition, “self-compassion is also associated with less self-criticism, depression, anxiety, fear of failure, and perfectionism.”
One research showed the positive implications of self-compassion on the overall well-being of a person. When you embody self-compassion you thrive to “greater life satisfaction, emotional intelligence, interconnectedness with others, wisdom, curiosity, happiness, and optimism”.
Self-compassion can be learned and enhanced. It is not something that you are born with. You have the power to instill the habit of loving and being kind to yourself. It is highly suggested that you use the psychologists’ definition of self-compassion as a three-point checklist:
Am I being kind and understanding to myself?
Do I acknowledge shortcomings and failure as experiences shared by everyone?
Am I keeping my negative feelings in perspective?
Aside from asking yourself these questions, you can also write a letter to yourself as if you were a loved one or a dear friend. Many believed that we are better and kinder friends to other people than to ourselves. It may take time and a lot of practice but soon you will master the art of self-compassion.
Staying True to Yourself
When you are kind to yourself, you only want what is best for you. Constantly feeling depressed at work makes you reassess your job. You become more mindful of your well-being. Maybe it is time for you to look for another job that will not put your mental health at risk.
Being kind to yourself is being authentic. You do not have to pretend anymore that you can still stand being in an abusive relationship. By being true to yourself, there are fewer self-criticisms and self-doubts. There are fewer negative feelings and thoughts because you are free and happier.
Treating yourself with kindness and no judgments eliminate any feelings of fear and anxiety about social disapproval. Other people’s opinions and discontentment with you will not weigh you down because you are living your truest and best life.
Kindness to Others
Self-kindness is never the same as self-centeredness. It is not about thinking of yourself all the time and ignoring the welfare of others. When you are kind to yourself, you also treat the people around you with love and respect. You make sure that you project positivity and good energy.
Self-compassion encourages a positive mindset. You overcome the different challenges because you know that they can be your stepping stones to growth. Once this becomes a habit, you extend your growth mindset to your family and colleagues – giving compliments when your spouse prepares a delicious dinner or your workmate has done a remarkable job. This not only makes you feel good but also motivates them to always give their best.
Always bear in mind that when you respond to failures and problems with a self-compassion attitude, you display a mature personality and a healthy mind that can be beneficial to your growth and success.
Being kind to yourself is presenting a healthy body and mind. It is not all about having the right attitude but also exhibiting a strong and fit body. You know that by being healthy you are able to do so many things. Eating healthy meals and exercising regularly boosts your mood and energy to overcome the struggles and stress of your daily life.
When work consumes you, you tend to forget to eat or sleep. You slowly neglect the needs of your body. Your body can affect how you feel, think and behave. If you deprive yourself of a nutritious meal and enough rest, you easily get frustrated, depressed, and anxious.
However, some feelings are not easy to understand and handle. When you feel extremely sad and lonely for days, you may need to consider going to therapists or counselors. Their expertise will give your clarity on why you feel that way. It may be caused by some factors in your life that you deem as your safe space – it may be your workplace, your community, or at home.
Mindshift Psychological Services offers therapy and counseling sessions for those who are struggling with depression and anxiety. Our highly-trained therapists and counselors are all ready to serve you. You may visit our website to know more about our therapists and counselors. You may also inquire about our excellent therapy and counseling sessions.