Self-compassion is extending compassion to oneself in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main elements – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
Here are five essential steps to increase your self-compassion using internal and external resources:
Step 1: Practice Forgiveness
Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. Accept that you are not perfect and be gentle with yourself when you are confronted with your shortcomings. You are valued by your friends and colleagues because of who you are, not because you are faultless.
Step 2: Employ a Growth Mindset
At the heart of Carol Dweck’s research is the impact of our mindset on wellbeing. She found that whether we have a fixed or growth mindset influences our happiness. Do you view challenges as impossible obstacles or as opportunities to grow? Employing a growth mindset is more helpful.
Embrace rather than avoid challenges, persist in finding meaning in them, and don’t give up on yourself.
Step 3: Express Gratitude
Feeling gratitude is very powerful (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). Rather than wishing for what we do not have, there is strength in appreciating what we do have, right now. You can choose to write a gratitude journal or go for gratitude walks. By focusing on our blessings, we employ a gentler inner voice and move the focus away from our shortcomings and outward to the world, with all its beauty.
Step 4: Find the Right Level of Generosity
Raj Raghunathan (2016) has identified three different reciprocity styles: giver, taker, and matcher. Givers are the most generous people, and generosity is a great way of employing compassion. However, givers can be both the most successful and least successful people, as they may fall into a pattern of selfless giving that ignores their own needs.
For generosity to work in favor of your wellbeing, it cannot be selfless. So, when being generous, make sure you are aware of your own needs before progressing. Then consciously choose the recipient of your generosity.
Step 5: Be Mindful
Mindfulness has been found to have a positive impact on self-compassion, as it has a tendency to lessen self-judgment (Kabat-Zinn, 2014). Strive to always be in the moment and to be aware of what is happening right now, without judgment and labeling.
Source: Positive Psychology
NEXT STEPS: If you found this message helpful, share, like, subscribe to the blog.
©Indigo Stone 2022