You cannot practice self compassion without having a strong relationship with yourself. Being compassionate towards yourself is not just about forgiving yourself for the mistakes you made. It is also about loving yourself for being you.
As humans, we are bound to make mistakes. There is nobody who hasn’t made a mistake ever. But, not every person finds themselves worthy enough to forgive. Sometimes, forgiving yourself becomes the most difficult task because you don’t show self compassion.
Failures are inevitable in life. That’s how you learn and grow. But, take a moment to think about how you treat yourself when you fail at something. If you are one of those people who become too hard on themselves when life gives a hit, you must learn to practice self compassion.
Guilt is a very strong emotion. But, clinging on to it doesn’t do any good. It only takes you down in life. While forgiveness and nurturing yourself don’t come easily, they are important to practice. You have to learn to love yourself and be more self compassionate, just as you would do to a loved one when they do something wrong.
In today’s blog, I am sharing 10 ways in which you can practice self compassion and be more empathetic towards yourself.
How can you practice self compassion? | 10 tips + prompts to help you
Developing a sense of self compassion sets a solid foundation for better health, successful relationships, and general wellbeing. Some significant benefits of practicing self compassion include lower levels of anxiety and depression. Thus, to practice self compassion is to become more aware of yourself.
Why should you practice self compassion?
Self compassion is your ability to acknowledge your mistakes. It helps you to accept your mistakes and become more understanding towards yourself. Self compassion saves you from self doubt. When you have higher self compassion, you can forgive yourself for your mistakes. It helps you to sail through tough times without being a rude and harsh self critic.
When you have self compassion you build fulfilling relationships. Your higher levels of confidence help you to realize that making mistakes is a part of being human. When you practice self compassion you become more kind to yourself. You don’t beat yourself up for what’s done. Instead, you become more self aware to fix the problem.
Self compassion means that you treat yourself like you would treat a good friend or someone you love. It builds resilience in you. This is why people with self compassion can withstand the challenges in life. They can bounce back and move forward in their lives without getting into the vicious spiral of cruel self criticism and self blame. They rise above shaming themselves for making mistakes.
How to practice self compassion?
People who lack self compassion are over-critical of themselves. They have a hard time moving on from their mistakes. Self Compassion may or may not come naturally to you. You practice it based on how people around you practice it. But, the good news is that you can learn to practice self compassion and make it a part of your personality.
Research conducted by the National Library of Medicine revealed that you can learn how to practice self compassion in your daily life. So, let’s learn from these 10 tips for you to increase and practice self compassion.
1. Build your physical health
To practice self compassion you must comfort your body and nurture it with healthy food. Schedule your time to rest. Include mobility in your daily routine. Dedicate time to take a walk, especially if you are a remote worker or you have a sedentary lifestyle. Every little action towards making you feel good physically adds to your sense of self compassion. Be mindful of what goes on in your body and how it impacts your health.
2. Take time for mind food
Your mind is the seed of your soul. Just like your body, your mind craves good food too. Don’t neglect it. Spend time absorbing information and doing things that build you a growth mindset. Feed your mind with information that takes you a step ahead. Read books that build your mental muscles. Listen to podcasts or watch Youtube videos that share inspirational journeys. Consume content and conversations that add value to your life. Surround yourself with people and guidance that will take you forward in life.
3. Nurture your feelings with a letter
The technique of writing love letters to yourself is another great way to practice self compassion. The goal is to write to yourself without any negativity.
Think of a situation that completely shattered you. It could be the ending of a relationship or losing a job opportunity, or anything else. Address the situation in this letter and write it to yourself without playing any blame game. Do this to acknowledge the pain you went through and nurture your feelings. Take control of the negative self talk and congratulate yourself on making it out of that misery.
4. Encourage yourself
The ground rule to practice self compassion says, “If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself”. Count yourself as your friend. Think of the times when your friend did something wrong and you held onto them with compassion. Think of the language you used to calm them down to make them feel better. The next time you are in a similar situation, redirect those compassionate words to yourself instead of being too critical.
5. Practice mindfulness
Pain is personal. You cannot measure it as more or less for people. Practicing mindfulness acts as a stepping stone to practice self compassion. Try different mindfulness exercises like yoga, deep meditation, gardening, etc, to become more aware of your present and let go of the past. Becoming mindful is one of the core components of building self compassion. They revise your brain by reducing stress and increasing your sense of wellbeing.
6. Use affirmations
Self Compassion affirmations are different from the positive affirmations you may use in your daily life. Regular positive affirmations are normally used to broaden your sense of understanding and awareness. But, research shows that self compassion affirmations are used in contrast to this. They focus on three key components: mindfulness, humanity, and self kindness. They are more goal-oriented. They are designed to not just motivate but also ignite the intentions to change.
Some examples are:
- I forgive myself and accept my flaws because I understand nobody is perfect.
- I will continue moving forward without allowing self-doubt or self-judgment to stop me.
- I choose to be easy on myself and grow with my mistakes.
7. Let go of outside validation
Seeking validation from other people and the uncontrollable need to please them are two significant traits of people who lack self compassion.
When you are dependent on other people’s opinions to make you feel good, you give them the power to control you and your emotions. And, practicing self compassion is the way to take that power back. When you release the need to not let outside sources influence your happiness, you become more self-reliant.
8. Don’t prejudge yourself
Mostly you become reluctant to show up for difficult times because you prejudge yourself. You assume that you will behave a certain way and that it’s best to be absent instead of owning up to your deeds. Thus, not judging yourself so easily is an important ingredient to practice self compassion. Your assumptions might hamper your growth because not everything you overthink has to be true. Give yourself the benefit of doubt and don’t let your assumptions take away from what you could become.
9. Follow your passion
This might feel like the most cliche advice you would have heard a gazillion times. But, it is so obvious because it helps. Discovering your passion is not just about making money from what you love and having a career with it. It is also about having hobbies that make you feel good and having loved ones around that improve your sense of relationships. Whether it’s your profession, a hobby, or a person, self compassion allows you to spend more time doing what you enjoy and what brings you a sense of satisfaction.
10. Accept your flaws
We are living in the digital age. Comparing yourself and your lives with others happens every now and then. It is easy to get lost in the limelight of an “Instagram-worthy” lifestyle. Hence, to practice self compassion, you must learn to accept your flaws. Cultivating acceptance about things that you cannot change and being grateful for what you have will take you towards abundance. They bring you contentment and joy.
10 Journaling prompts for you to practice self compassion:
There are many benefits of journaling when it comes to your mental health and building a relationship with yourself. And, here are a few questions and journaling prompts for you to practice self compassion, be kinder, and fall in love with yourself without compromising on your uniqueness:
- What changes my mood positively when I am stressed?
- How can I spend more time with myself? What are the things that excite me?
- What are the physical activities I enjoy?
- Who are the people that make me forget the time when I am with them?
- What are the situations when I become hard on myself? What can I do to change that?
- What content do I consume everywhere? How is it impacting my mind and life?
- What makes my heart sing and fly?
- Can I treat myself the same way I treat my best friend?
- What are some of the lessons I learned recently from my mistakes?
- Am I growing in life? If yes, what are the contributing factors? How can I amplify them? If not, what are the hurdles? How can I overcome them?
When you have been living under a shell, it can be hard to practice self compassion. You can start your journey of being more kind and compassionate with yourself by moving one pebble at a time. All the self love and self acceptance won’t come overnight. It will take time but the only secret is to continue cultivating it a little bit every day.
Self compassion improves your perception of yourself and your outlook on life. You become more open to connecting with other people, building new relationships, and mending broken bonds (if you want) because your self compassion makes you more confident about yourself. It strengthens your perspective and vision in life.
You cannot pour from an empty cup, thus it is important that you fill yourself with love first before you go out to give it to others. Practicing self compassion will take empathy a step forward by fostering your emotional intelligence and mental wellness. You cultivate a nature to help people as and when you can.
I hope I have motivated you to become more compassionate towards yourself and you’ll be more kinder and loving towards yourself.
Until next time…
See you soon!