Self-Compassion -- The Neglected Super-Tool
Lately, one of my goals has been to be mindful and self-compassionate in my everyday life. This has meant that I aiming to be aware of the moments in the day when I am under stress or suffering (my mindfulness) and to also respond to this obstacle with the care and kindness (my self-compassion) that I know I need.
Use these tips and list of questions to determine if your self-compassion could use a boost but, SPOILER ALERT -- the work comes from YOU and everyone could stand to be a little more self-compassionate.
check your physicality
Real quick, take notice of areas of your body where you may be caring tension. Release some of this tension with three deep breaths or "rolling out" your joints. Each day, begin to notice tension within your physicality and rid yourself of its discomfort that can distract from productivity and over time result in injury.
How do you care for yourself physically?
- a warm bath
- regular massages
- consistent exercise
- cup of hot tea
- yoga or stretching
- awareness of breath
What new ways can you think of to release tension and stress that you're carrying with you?
free your mind from friction
With everything going on in the world and in our busy lives it does not take much before our brains can become overcome with friction dictated by our environment and experiences day to day. By nurturing your self-compassion, you can help your mind find clarity and filter through the static that paralyzes your To-Do list and erases your mind's ability to focus.
How do you care for your mind -- especially under times of stress?
- listen to music
- go to the beach
- gardening or cleaning
- sleep or take a nap
- watch a funny movie
How can you reduce agitations in your life so that you can allow your thoughts to come and go more quickly?
engage your emotions
Often times in life we train ourselves to take the emotion out of things as a strategy to protect ourselves from harm's way. By doing this, we desensitize ourselves too much that it begins to bleed into our everyday lives. At times when you're up to your eyeballs in stress, being self- compassionate means that we also soothe and comfort ourselves emotionally and allow our feelings to surface when the timing is appropriate.
How do you emotionally care for yourself?
- write a blog or journal
- cook or bake
- arts and crafts
- sing, whistle or hum
- pet your dog or cat
What is a new way that you can emotionally care for yourself?
evaluate your relationships
They say you are a combination of the five people that you spend the most time with. That being said, if you're surrounded by awful people, chances are these qualities are going to start to rub off on you. We are naturally influenced by our surroundings, so it is crucial for our self-compassion that we have positive and uplifting connections with others -- and every else can hit the road!
How, when or where do you find yourself surrounded by those who make your genuinely happy?
- when you're at work
- when you're with your best friend or significant other
- while you're playing games
- at school or in a class
- when you're with family
How can you enrich these relationships that bring you joy?
Where can you trim toxic relationships that bring you stress?
make your spirit smile
By awakening the spirit inside of us that gives us the light behind our eyes we work towards committing to our core values. We find ourselves leading with love and making decisions based on what our head wants and our heart needs.
How do you care for yourself spiritually?
- walk on the beach or in the woods
- volunteer for a greater good
- donate to charity
How can you bring more attention to your spiritual side?
If you're not sure where to start, reflect on things that bring you joy and comfort in your life. When you find yourself stressed, refer to the people, places, activities, objects, and memories that are comforting, nurturing and make you joyful.