Of all the topics that I could choose to write to begin my brand-new blog, this topic just kept coming to the forefront. When I first heard this concept discussed during my first year of the Integrative medicine fellowship, it seemed to resonate a lot with me. During our first heart centered meditation practice, I felt so much at peace and was almost in tears and could see that my fellow practitioners were feeling the same way.
Self-compassion can be defined as being kind to yourself or driving the compassion directed inwards. I know it sounds weird, right? Who doesn’t like themselves 🙂 Does it even need to be discussed? More and more research in psychology shows that people always have an inner dialogue ongoing that criticizes their day to day activities and especially when they have not met their expectations. We tend to dwell on the past mistakes or any sort of abuse or childhood experiences that have formed deep imprints in our inner consciousness. So, whenever you are not feeling great about yourself or make any mistakes, these feelings tend to readily pop up.
These negative emotions are even more severe for women, especially since we are under pressure to balance different roles as a wife, mother, sister, professional and many more. Most common example is when we sabotage our weight loss or fitness goals after a momentary lapse of one cheat meal or a missed work out. This could throw us back in the motivation to get healthy.
It is important to realize this concept and start being kind to yourself and not criticize yourself harshly. This will help you to have an open mind and see that suffering in universal and that imperfection-ism is okay.
The three core principles of self-compassion include mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness. People who are self-compassionate are known to have higher levels of motivation, are positive thinkers and not afraid to fail.
There are so many ways to practice this daily, I will focus on three of them here.
1) When you start having negative thoughts, acknowledge that critical voice and consciously redirect it to a more positive tone.
2) Write a daily gratitude journal and jot down at least three positive things about you.
3) When you have a few quiet moments to yourself in the day, sit down and you can even place your hand over your heart and repeat any of the following.
“May I be happy”.
“May I be kind to myself”
“May I be patient” or whatever emotion you need help with, that day.
Hope this concept influences and changes your way of thinking as it did mine. I will leave below the website links that have been helpful resources for me and have a lot more detailed information. Have a fun Friday!
2.The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion: www.CenterforMSC.org
3.Christopher Germer, PhD, Author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: www.mindfulselfcompassion.org
4.Mindful website: www.mindful.org