How nice are you to yourself?
If you think about it, you’d be surprised how much harder you may be on yourself than you are on other people.
Imagine someone speaking to you the way you sometimes speak to yourself, criticizing you, telling you what a lousy job you did, doubting your capabilities. You wouldn’t like it all that much, would you? So why would you put up with it just because you’re the one doing it to yourself?
Self-compassion is all about being compassionate towards ourselves.
Now while you can see how this will help you feel better on an emotional level, you’ll be surprised that it comes with physiological health benefits too.
Self-Compassion as a Healing Agent
According to researchers Kristin J. Homan and Fuschia M. Sirois, there is growing evidence that self-compassion and physical health go together.
In their words, “we found that self-compassionate people reported lower stress, more frequent health behaviors, and better overall physical health.”
How to be Self-Compassionate
Christopher Germer, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, offers several ways to develop a self-compassionate stance:
Notice what’s going on for you as it takes place without judging it. If you don’t like it, be compassionate and accept it.
Write about a tough situation you went through and give a voice to your feelings without blaming anyone.
Put someone else in your shoes. If they went through what you’re going through right now, what would you tell them? Certainly, it would be something kind. So why not tell it to yourself?
Make sure your bodily needs are met. If you can use a boost, give your body something that shows it care, like eating or resting. This will also take care of some self-compassion.