I’ve been reading a lot lately about the need for more self-compassion, notably Brene Brown’s, The Gifts of Imperfection, and what I’ve been noticing is how often we tend to self-criticize. Whether it’s calling ourselves “banana brain” when we forget something, or “stupid woman” when we make a mistake, negative self-talk, even seemingly funny, has a detrimental effect on our overall self-worth. Putting ourselves down and criticizing ourselves under our breath can create tension, feed anxiety and fear, and make us feel miserable. That critical inner voice is our subconscious talking and if we let it, it can diminish our motivation and energy. Even if our conscious brain is saying, “you’re not stupid, you’re an intelligent talented woman”, if we’re beating ourselves up inside, it’s our subconscious thoughts that rule.
We need to learn to treat ourselves with kindness and self-compassion! This will boost our energy and motivation and reinforce our belief in ourselves. We’ll be more resilient to stress, able to do more of what we want, and we’ll just be happier in general.
Here are 3 tips to practice being kinder to yourself:
- Say calm, soothing words to yourself like, “Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes sometimes,” or “I’m me, and that’s a good thing!
- Do something every day that’s good for you, feeds your soul, nurtures you…it can be anything that makes you happy- taking a yoga class, going for a walk, baking for someone, or listening to music. Take a break your way and enjoy it!
- Practice self-care and compassion…if you’re stressed or suffering about something, pause and notice what you’re feeling, and maybe where you’re feeling it in your body. And then, ask yourself, “what do I need to feel better?” Maybe it’s calling a trusted friend, or getting a massage, or maybe trying a loving kindness meditation.
Here’s one of my favorites…I start my day with this meditation:
May I be happy, may I be healthy in body and mind, may I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm, and may I be free from fear, the fear that keeps me stuck.
After you say it to yourself, you can say it to anyone you love, friends, and to everyone in the world.
Kindness is contagious- embrace who you are, believe in yourself, and share your gifts with the world!