What is Self Compassion?
Many of us are used to thriving in high pressure jobs & dynamic social situations. We set the bar so high that we tend to beat ourselves up for anything less than perfection. Over time, these negative thoughts fill us with self-doubt, as opposed to open us to possibilities.
Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly, as we would a close friend or loved one. Rather than continually judging & evaluating ourselves, the practice of self-compassion encourages kindness toward ourselves as imperfect humans and learning to be present with greater ease when encountered with the inevitable struggles of life.
In a culture of endless striving & cutthroat competition, self-compassion might feel like a luxury we can't afford. The truth is we can't afford to be without it. Research has shown that self-compassion leads to healthy habits, lowers anxiety and depression, and supports more satisfying relationships.
Most of us feel compassion when someone close to us needs it. And we support them unconditionally. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself?
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Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection during childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption.
With mindful self-compassion, we’re better able to recognize our challenging moments and to face them with a kinder, more compassionate and sustainable response. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves. Self-compassion also provides the support and inspiration required to make necessary changes in our lives and reach our full potential.