5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is a powerful skill that we can learn and practice. Being compassionate towards yourself has many benefits. When you learn to be self-compassionate, you will begin to treat yourself with more understanding and kindness. You will also be able to experience deeper self-knowledge and self-love.
The first step in activating self-compassion is mindfulness. First, you need to acknowledge what you’re feeling in a difficult moment. Mindfulness will then bring about awareness about common humanity, as you will realize that other people are likely to have similar feelings in a similar situation. Finally, you will feel empowered to express kindness towards yourself just as you would to someone you truly care about.
Self-compassion means recognizing that things are really tough for you right now but reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that you are not alone in your suffering. Furthermore, being self-compassionate means treating yourself with care and kindness you would treat a loved one.
The way you think about yourself and talk to yourself plays a vital role in your well-being. Self-criticism often leads to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. However, the challenge of self-judgment is something you can work on and improve.
Here are the ways to strengthen your self-compassion and overcome your inner critic.
1. Be Mindful
Mindfulness promotes self-compassion as it can help silence your inner critic and lessen self-judgment. Mindfulness meditation helps calm both mind and body while being aware of what is happening right now, without labeling and judgment. Allow your thoughts and feelings to arise without over-identifying with them or trying to suppress them. Don’t grow attached to those thoughts and feelings, though. Just recognize them and let them go.
2. Express Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful feeling that can increase your resilience, boost your mood, and lift your energy. Appreciation for what you have has the power to improve your well-being and your relationships. Gratefulness can help you experience more positive emotions and express more kindness to yourself and others. A simple exercise of writing down three of your blessings each day can significantly improve the way you feel about yourself.
3. Nurture a Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck, a mindset researcher and psychology professor has found that all people have either a fixed or growth mindset and that these two types of mindset affect our happiness and success in life. If you have a growth mindset, you will tend to see life challenges as opportunities to grow. You will, therefore, embrace challenges and seek meaning in them rather than trying to avoid them.
4. Practice Forgiveness
Stop punishing yourself for every mistake you make. Accepting that you are not perfect, as nobody else is will help you understand common humanity and our shared flaws, shortcomings, and limitations. Be kind to yourself when you are experiencing challenges and remind yourself that you are worthy of love and compassion.
5. Practice Affirmations
One of the best ways to silence your inner critic and overcome negative self-talk are affirmations or positive statements about yourself. Affirmations are empowering thoughts that promote self-acceptance and self-kindness. Our thoughts tend to build upon each other, so, repeating positive affirmations will convince your subconscious mind to accept your positive statements as the only truth and to act according to them. This will increase your self-acceptance and encourage self-compassion.