Self compassion is defined well in the quote below:

Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.”
~Lama Yeshe

Are you kind to yourself?

Improving self-compassion is about noticing times, when we struggle and learning to be kinder towards ourselves, so often, we allow our negative self talk to run riot and treat ourselves harshly.

Could you imagine talking to a friend in the same way that you speak to yourself when your being self critical?

We are kind to the people we care about, we reassure and support them when they are struggling and feeling self critical. We offer comfort and support when they’re going through difficult times and point out their attributes when they aren’t able to see them, themselves and feel that they have failed.
Intrinsically, we excel at being, kind, compassionate and supportive towards the ones we love.  Still, when it comes to ourselves, its so much harder!!

 

How do we stop the negative self talk?

When our inner critic continually criticises and reprimands us we end up feeling low, insecure, and a failure.  We can get caught in negative circular thinking, which impacts on our feelings and the way we behave.  Give your self a break.

I often suggest to clients who struggle with self compassion, to consider how they might treat a close friend? It’s interesting to notice how differentl they respond, how much kinder they are.  If you find it difficult to be compassionate towards yourself try thinking about what you would say to a friend in the same circumstances.

Research carried out by Kirsten Neff defines,

self compassion as having 3 main components:

(1) self-kindness, the tendency to be caring and understanding to oneself

(2) a sense of common humanity, which recognises that all humans make mistakes which offers a greater perspective

(3) mindfulness, being aware and accepting of painful feelings in the present moment in a clear and balanced way

The combination of these three together create a self-compassionate framework to consider and aim towards,

when suffering occurs through no fault of one’s own –

when the external circumstances of life are simply too painful or difficult to bear

when our suffering stems from one’s own mistakes, failures or personal inadequacies.

After all we are human so if you take one thing from this article, please ease up and be kinder to yourself.  Your doing better than you think.