The Power of Self Compassion
Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to talk about a form of self care that I think we can all benefit from wherever we are in our journey with health, intuitive eating and body acceptance.
Self-compassion is the act of showing warmth, caring and kindness to yourself, without judgement. This is essentially the same as having compassion for others. We can identify when someone is struggling and respond gently, out of a place of empathy and caring. But I think when it comes to ourselves, too many of us have a never ending stream of negative self-talk running through our minds each day. It's so easy to beat ourselves down over perceived shortcomings and failures. But is that how we would respond to a friend in need? Probably not.
If we choose to relate to ourselves like we would a friend, we can learn to love and appreciate ourselves for our strengths rather than criticizing our weaknesses. When we choose to show ourselves compassion, we're more likely to rebound and recover from negative situations and feelings. Whether we're having a negative body image day or feeling bad about food choices, self compassion allows us to recognize the situation and feelings with curiosity and kindness rather than harsh criticism.
Part of learning how to show yourself compassion is recognizing that we're all human and we all have struggles. Unfortunately it's part of life, but we're not alone in suffering or experiencing difficulties. Understanding this can help us better relate to ourselves when negative feelings crop up. Cultivating more compassion for ourselves allows us to stop holding on to perfectionism and fearing failure. Physiologically, it can even decreases cortisol levels, anxiety and depression.
Showing ourselves compassion doesn't mean that we'll never have negative feelings again.
It simply give us the power to recognize the feelings, and choose how to respond. Addressing it from a place of gentle understanding gives us that freedom.
If you've never considered this idea before, it may take some practice to get used to. A good place to begin can be to simply recognize your inner self-talk. What does it sound like? Does it change throughout the day? Is it kind, or critical? Once we recognize how we talk to ourselves we can work on adjusting the narrative. Learning to cultivate more self compassion is a process but with practice it gets easier. I'm definitely not perfect at this, but as I've gotten older and adopted intuitive eating and health at every size principles it's gotten easier and more natural. Read this, this and this to learn more about how to re-frame your perspective.
Question of the day: What can you do to improve your inner dialogue and cultivate more self compassion today?