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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.