WHY DO I NEED SELF-COMPASSION?
Research shows that the more we practice being kind and compassionate with ourselves, either using informal practices such as the Self-Compassion Break, or formal meditation practices such as Affectionate Breathing – the more we will increase the habit of self-compassion.
People who have self-compassion also have greater social connectives, emotional intelligence, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. Self-compassion has also been shown to correlate with less anxiety, depression, shame, and fear of failure.
While Narcissism is considered problematic, we do want people to have some healthy narcissism.’’ This provides for a stable sense of self when things do not go well in life, whether it is a bad day, a loss in competition, or the loss of a job. If we lose our sense of self-worth during these challenges of life, we will have a hard time recovering.
HOW DO I PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION?
There are a few tips to practicing self-compassion that are important to keep in mind for novice and experienced practitioners alike. Self-compassion is a practice of goodwill, not good feelings. In other words, even though the friendly, supportive stance of self-compassion aimed at the alleviation of suffering, we cannot always control the way things are.
If we use self-compassion practice to try to make our pain go away by suppressing it or fighting against it, things will likely just get worse. With self-compassion, we mindfully accept that the moment is painful, and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response, remembering that imperfection is part of the shared human experience. This allows us to hold ourselves in love and connection, giving ourselves the support and comfort needed to bear the pain, while providing the optimal conditions for growth and transformation.
A similar process can occur when we open the door of our hearts – love goes in and old pain comes out. There are a couple sayings that describe this process: “When we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved” or “Love reveals everything unlike itself.”
Fortunately, we can meet old pain with the resources of mindfulness and self-compassion and the heart will naturally begin to heal. Still, it means we have to allow ourselves to be slow learners when it comes to practicing self-compassion. Moreover, if we ever feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions, the most self-compassionate response may be to pull back temporarily – focus on the breath, the sensation of the soles of our feet on the ground, or engage in ordinary, behavioral acts of self-care such as having a cup of tea or petting the cat. By doing so we reinforce the habit of self-compassion – giving ourselves what we need at the moment – planting seeds that will eventually blossom and grow.
This 5 days of Self Compassion is a workbook journal I designed to help you realign with who you are by exploring your own strength and draw out your confidence and potentials about yourself. You can use it home, at work, or whenever you feel hurt, depressed, anxious or unsure of your life direction and needed that extra boost of inspiration. This toolbox is entirely FREE to you when you subscribe.