You’ve heard a lot about self compassion and self compassion practices. But what exactly is it? And what’s the big deal? Self compassion is the act of cutting yourself all the slack you allow others. The forgiveness and empathy you find in your heart for people who’ve hurt you is the exact exercise you can use towards yourself.
How do You know if You practice Self Compassion?
When was the last time you patted yourself on the back?
When was the last time you gave yourself a break?
When was the last time you told yourself, “Good job”?
If you can’t answer any of these questions immediately, then you’re probably being hard on yourself.
Stop beating yourself up.
Denying yourself the relief that accompanies practicing self compassion. Focusing on the little things you do wrong does not give you a chance to celebrate the many things you do right on a daily basis. This cycle of negativity contributes to anxiety, depression, loneliness, and lower self-esteem. Reality is you (like most people) are doing your best even when it doesn’t feel like it.
How Do You Practice Self Compassion?
1.Catch Yourself in the Act
It’s easy to spiral into negativity when things go wrong in moments of high stress. Knowing your triggers and recognizing them will give you the gift of self-regulation. Think back to times and situations when you were mean or cruel to yourself, and take mental note of them. The more aware you are of these triggers, the better able you’ll be to catch yourself in the act of mistreating yourself in the moments when you need kindness most. Remind yourself of the positive things you’ve done.
2. Be Grateful
Staying aware of all the good things around you is another way to practice self compassion. Acknowledging your small victories gives you the sacred space to reflect on the positive and use that as motivation to build a stronger, more self-aware you. A gratitude practice is an easy way to dip your toe in. Look within and ask, “What are the things I’m thankful for today”? While these things may be small in the beginning (e.g. food, shelter, good weather), write them down anyway. Keep track of them and you’ll see your gratitude list grow and shift over time from the external things our society focuses on to the internal things that matter the most.
3. There will be Highs and Lows
Despite its simplicity, self compassion is anything but easy. It’s a practice, and like any practice, it takes commitment and time to be fruitful and effective. You’ll struggle at first, get better at catching yourself and staying consistent, only to backslide when you think you have this self-compassion thing down. That’s okay and human. Remembering that in a difficult moment is also an act of self compassion when you need it most.
The Long Road to Healing
It’s easy to forget taking care of yourself in the hustle of daily living. But practicing self compassion gives you the space to acknowledge yours and others’ humanity and imperfections. It heals and builds resilience when you fall so you can get up to try again. It’s also a reminder that you’re okay just as you are – that who you are and what you do are enough.
Ready to try it but not sure where to start? Call (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult to explore how developing self compassion can improve how you view yourself and others around you.