Self-compassion is a rather new concept, not everyone has heard of it or understands it, so what does it mean & why is it relevant?
The American psychologist Kristin Neff, has defined it in three main respects.
- To be good and caring towards yourself, like you were treating a friend. We all deserve compassion like everyone else around us.
- Understanding and knowing that we are not alone in this world suffering. It is a part of being human and everyone goes through some kind of struggles in their lives.
- Being present (mindfulness) instead of ruminating about things that make us sad.
The past is gone and will never come back. The past cannot hurt you anymore. It is impossible to experience the pain that the past has caused you to the exact extent that it did then.
It can sound very simple to just be self-compassionate. However, it can very challenging, especially for women. Studies have shown that men are a little better at not judging themselves too hard and have more compassion for themselves than women.
But why is this important?
The main benefits of self-compassion according to research are:
– Gives more joy
– Gives more optimism
– Has a positive effect on body image
– Increases motivation
– Increases self-worth & self-esteem
– Can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
Here is one simple exercise to get you started if you are interested in an overall better being:
- Next time you talk down to yourself, notice and try to think about how you would talk to your best friend or your partner in the same situation?
Would you really talk to your friend with the same harsh criticism? Change that inner voice to a more self-compassionate and loving way. Being harsh on yourself is not useful for you. It is only going to bring you down and we don’t need that in our lives.
I want to encourage you to give it a try. Writing your thoughts and feelings down in a constructive way can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Furthermore, can it distance you from you some negative thoughts.
Contact me for more information or for booking an appointment or online therapy:
Picture by Content Pixie