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Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Have you ever been harsh or critical with yourself? My guess is the answer is “YES”.  Did you know as humans, we are much harsher on ourselves than we are with other people? Think about it, have you secretly blamed and then beaten yourself up with negative self-talk. We do it so frequently, that we go on to autopilot. The criticism,  blaming and hash self-talk starts to flow. Before we know it, our mind filled with toxic thoughts.

If you can relate then I would love to let you in on a little secrete. One of the best ways to calm the harsh self-talk is to practise kindness and self-compassion.

Trust me! By being, kind and showing yourself, compassion will profoundly change your life. The more we practice being kind and compassionate with ourselves. The more we will develop the habit of self-compassion.

Here are a few tips on practising self-compassion to get you started.

Create Self Compassion time

We hear about the importance of self-care and the many benefits, but have you ever consider creating a self-compassionate time? Here some of my favourite ways to create self-compassion time in my day.

It only takes 10 minutes and it can make a huge difference to your emotional and mental health.

Self-soothing practices  

We can do simple practices such as self-soothing rituals like breaths in and say “

“I treat myself with love, kindness and compassion”.

Then breathe out. Repeat for five breath cycles.

Self-compassion break

 Take a self-compassion break. –It’s just like taking a tea break. A quick break in your day to show yourself some self-compassion. Step away from daily task and take 5 minutes break to show yourself some self-compassion. Do one kind thing for yourself during your compassion break. Pop a reminder on your phone or in your calendar. Then you have your self-compassion time scheduled. There no excuses for missing out on taking 5 minutes to be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Morning Routine

Another way to create self-compassion time is to start a morning routine that includes compassion.

This may be a morning meditation practice. (Check the link below for a free self-compassion meditation).  As part of your routine, you may like to include saying some compassionate words to yourself or give yourself a compliment. A great way to implement this is to write out your compassion words on a post-it note and stick it on the mirror.  Then when you’re getting ready in the morning, it’s right there on the mirror as a reminder. The perfect way to show yourself a little love and compassion in the morning.

Taking a self-compassion break helps you to care and nurture yourself. It allows you to open your heart and be kind to yourself.

Self-compassion practice for difficult emotions

When difficult emotions arise, we often experience feelings of overwhelming. When in this heightened state it is the perfect time to show yourself kindness and compassion to bring about emotional calm.

First recognizing the emotion without judgment or attachment. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself it’s normal to have an emotional reaction when life is difficult. Be gentle and nurturing with yourself. Give yourself the space to work through the emotions. Be open and ‘make room for thoughts and feelings. Allow feelings to flow through you. Don’t try and fight the feeling , push them down, or control them. Validate your experience through kind self-talk. Practice accepting difficult emotions when they arise.

When we accept that, it’s a normal part of being a human to have uncomfortable thoughts feelings and emotions is an act of self-compassion within itself.

Compassionate exercise when difficult emotions arise.

Pace your right hand on your heart, and then place your left hand over the top of your right hand.

Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself –

Close your eyes – Repeat this affirmation Slowly 10 times.

“I am ok”.

Self-compassion through writing

Writing is a great way to express emotions, improve your well-being and show kindness.

Try to incorporate self-compassion into your journal writing. This will make practising self-compassion even stronger.

In your journal, be open and honest with yourself. Write about anything experiences you had during the day. Did you feel bad about anything? Or judged yourself harshly? Was there a stressful situation? Write anything you want to allow yourself to reflect on your experience. From this experience, explore ways you can show yourself self, more kindness and compassion

I find using kind words such as:

I’m doing the best I can.

I’m learning and growing from my experiences.

I forgive myself

I reflect and look for ways to be my best self

I’m kind and gentle with myself

You may like to write you on self-compassion phrases, which feels good to you.


Self-compassion letter

Another writing exercise is to write a self-compassionate letter to yourself. In your letter let yourself know that you care about yourself. Be gentle, and reassuring towards yourself. Write yourself some kind, comforting words. This exercise is helpful in difficult times when you need to show yourself some love and kindness.

Compassionate Self-touch

This is a simple practice but is a powerful way of showing kindness and compassion.

Find a comfortable position.

Now bring your mind to something you have been struggling with, it could be an internal struggle or an external struggle. Sit with this struggle for a moment. You may want to consider how this struggle is affecting you, how it is affecting your life. Notice what difficult thoughts and feeling are arising.

Become aware of within the body where you feel the feelings that are arising. Be aware of the part of the body that is hurting the most.

Now bring your attention to one of your hand. Within this hand, imagine that you hold someone that is very kind and caring.

Then place this kind and caring hand gently on whichever part of the body that hurts the most.

Send warmth, care and compassion inwards. Through the palm to the place that is hurting.

Imagine the body softening, relaxing and making space. Allow kindness and compassion to flow through your body.

Continue with this kind of self-touch for as long as you wish. (You can download a guided recording of this practice) here

Only through practice, we become better at showing ourselves compassion. It may feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first but, the more kindness and compassion we are with ourselves. The better we become at handling life’s ups and downs.

Forgive yourself be gentle with yourself and recognize that you are a human.

You make mistakes.  You do not have to be perfect. You are learning, growing and doing the best that you can.

So, next time you are harsh or critical of yourself. Take a moment to pause and draw upon one of these practices. Show yourself kindness and compassion you are worth it.

You are worth of self-compassion

You are worthy of kindness

You are worthy of self-love.

And remember:

You can search the entire universe for someone who more deserving of you love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love affection, kindness and compassion. – Budda

I would love to hear how you feel about this topic and how you are bringing more self-compassion into your life Leave a  comment or get in touch here.

You may feel inspired to start your journey of self-compassion. Please click here. To find out more about how I can support you.

Listen to a free self-compassion meditation here.

Five Ways To Release Emotional Overwhelm

Five Ways To Release Emotional Overwhelm

Let’s face it we can all agree on one thing,  2020 has been a year to remember. We have all been affected in one way or another

I have been reflecting lately on the impact this year has had on my own personal emotional health. I have noticed that there is a lingering feeling of emotional overwhelm. That feeling of being in constant fight or flight mode, because you don’t know what is coming next.

Being in this emotional state is exhausting and overwhelming right!

 The unpredictability of a situation that is out of our control. It  like being on an emotional roller coaster. The adrenaline kicks in and goes into overdrive, The feeling of heightened anxiety about what going to happen on the ride. However, I guess with a roller coaster the ride ends and we can calm our emotions.

This situation is something most of us have experienced before. In our lifetime, few of us have lived through a pandemic. This is all a new experience. Which understandable will bring up a whole lot of emotional overwhelm.

We can all take some comfort in knowing that this situation with the pandemic will also come to end. Kind of like the roller coaster ride come to an end. The wave of emotions will calm down. In the meant time how do we deal with the emotions going inside of us?

We don’t know what’s coming next.

We question the unknown

What will happen next,?

What will our world will look like in the future?

These are all reasonable questions to be asking.

I have heard the feeling we are experienced explained like this. It very much like the feeling that are experienced during grief.

 Upon reflecting that description seems to fit. A feeling of loss of what use to be is no longer for many of us. The grief of losing the world we knew and felt had some predictability and security about it. Now coming to the realization that the world we once knew, has gone and has changed forever. This is no wonder feeling of emotional overwhelm is arising within. There is so much to process.

If we look at it, we all have lost something this year. We do not need to justify what we feeling about that loss by minimizing it. Or telling ourselves someone has it worse than us. Yes, it is possible; there are many people who have had a challenging time. However, it is okay for you feel the way you feel. Acknowledge your own feelings and give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel. Go within and feel what you feeling. Give yourself time and space to explore the emotions that is coming up for you.

 I guess the next question you will be asking is what do we do about this emotional overwhelm. How do I deal with all the feelings that are coming up?

Many of us are feeling emotionally overwhelmed and energetically exhausted.

I get it! I have been feeling overwhelm and exhaustion too.

I want to share my best tips with you on how I have been able to calm emotional overwhelm.

 Emotional overwhelm is something most of us have all experienced this year.

Those times when emotions feel like they are spiralling out of control. Its overwhelming trying to deal with all the emotions that are rising up inside.

 When you feel emotionally overwhelmed. A natural reaction is for the mind to try to control the feeling. Your mind starts to kick in and bring up all sorts of self-talk. In my experience, this heightens the feelings. Then leads to even more emotional overwhelm!

 We could all do with a little calmer in our life right now. Let’s look at five tips to calm emotional overwhelm.

#Tip 1 Be Aware Of Your Feeling

 Observe yourself and answer these two questions: When I’m emotionally overwhelmed where do I feel it in my body?

What is my first reaction when I feel emotionally overwhelmed?

 Once you completed tip one you will be more aware of how you feel and react to emotional overwhelm. Let move on to tip two.

 

#Tip 2: Breath And Ground Yourself.

 

When you feel yourself, reacting to emotional overwhelm, try this next step:

Ground yourself:

Sit with the feet touching the floor.

 Become aware of your feet and firmly push them into the floor.

 Feeling your feet firmly grounded.

 Take your awareness to your breath. Focus on your breath. Breathe into the count of four. Breath out to the count of four Breath in the count of four and breath out to the count of four.

 Repeat two more cycles (in and out to the count of four). This grounding and breathing are helpful in creating a sense of support. By grounding yourself and release some of your emotional overwhelm.

 

#Tip 3: Be Mindful- Calm The Mind.

 

When you are feeling emotionally overwhelm the mind will start to race. It comes up with lots of thoughts and will often go to worst case scenario thinking. Calm the mind by practising some mindfulness.

 Stop for a moment.

Look around and name 5 things you can see.

Listen and name 5 things you can hear.

Notice 5 things you can feel on your body for example fingers, hands arm ect…

 Practice this throughout the day and notice how it makes you feel. This practice helped you to calm the mind when you in a state of overwhelm. It brings the mind back to focal point and helps to gain back control over your thoughts.

 

#Tip 4 – Body Scan

 Scan your body and be aware of any feelings of overwhelm that may be still present.

 Starting at your feet then moving up your body.

Moving your attention up to your legs, your torso, arms, neck and head.

 Bring your attention to the body and being within the body.

 Take some slow deep breaths to release any uncomfortable sensations and calm yourself.

 By bringing the attention to our body. We give our self’s the space to move out of the emotion and back into being present within the body.

#Tip 5- Affirm

One of my favourite was to calm my emotional is through affirmations.

 Take a few slow breaths in and out.

If it feels good place you hand on your heart.

 Repeat to yourself the affirmation “I am ok”

 Keep repeating the words to yourself until you notice a shift in your emotions

 These three simple  words I find bring reassuring and have a calming effect.

 By using tips they have helped me to gain back control over my emotions overwhelm. The best thing about these is they only take a few minutes. You can implemented these tips whenever the feeling of emotional overwhelm arises.

 I hope these tips served you and helped you to release emotional overwhelm. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Remind yourself that you doing the best you can under difficult circumstances.

 

I would love to help you with even more with strategies for emotional overwhelm. Learn more about my private session here

 I have created some free meditations to calm emotions click here to download

 Love and gratitude to you

 Tanya x

 

 

 

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