You might think giving yourself a hard time is what gets results, but how about showing yourself a little compassion – surely that’s a far more effective way of helping yourself? What is the worst name you have every called yourself? Stupid? Fat? Ugly? Unlovable? When we look in the mirror we use all these words that we wouldn’t dream of saying to a friend so why is it acceptable to be so hard on ourselves? You might think being mean to yourself is motivational – the only thing that keeps you functioning, if I change this about me, or if I work harder, If I Just lose a bit of weight –
STOP! In fact why not treat yourself as a friend, use a little compassion, surely this is better for our physical and mental health, it makes for a better body image, reduces stress and survive times of struggle. You don’t deserve to be treated this way, you wouldn’t let a friend be talked to this way – why do it to yourself? Self Compassion is not the same as self care, it’s not having a bath when you get in after a long day, its how to talk to yourself in the difficult moments, the ones when life gives you lemons. Change the voice in your head to a soft, kind one works so well because it gets to the heart of how were made. Our bodies are programmed to respond to warmth, gentle and soft vocalisation. A little self compassion is a way of being kind to ourselves. Self compassion has been shown to help all kinds of situations in which people typically struggle, from romantic jealousy and poor sleep to perfectionism, body dissatisfaction and heartbreak.
If you’re lucky, you may already have a good amount of self compassion, its roots go deep, back to our parents. Did they meet our needs and make us feel safe and loved. If it doesn’t come naturally then practice, wither formally with help or by yourself. If your having difficulty finding the words to be kind to yourself then imagine what you would say to a friend if she was standing in front of the mirror being critical about herself, or her husband had just walked out on her with 2 kids – Give yourself a break. Treat yourself with patience and empathy.
Too many men and women are hard on themselves, we are so self critical and it’s time to stop. We look in the mirror and we don’t see all the good things, the fact we are a nice person, a mum, a good wife, caring, have a great smile, have a great bum whatever it is – why do we never see that stuff?
Be kind to yourself and take some time to get to know yourself, invest in yourself.
Do something you feel you really need, whether that’s a day at the spa, a new haircut or a new image, as Nike would say JUST DO IT!