Self-compassion is strongly linked to our wellbeing. It can reduce negative mind states such as anxiety, depression, stress, perfectionism and shame. It can also increase positive mind states like life satisfaction, happiness, connectedness, self-confidence, optimism, and gratitude.1
Given all of the supportive research, why don’t we use self-compassion more often? Is it because we don’t know what it looks like, or maybe we think it’s a narcissistic or selfish practice?2
This time of year can be hectic and often leads us to feel like we’re not doing enough or that we “should’ be doing more. Instead, let’s give ourselves the gift of self-compassion as a way of counteracting the negativity.
3 Easy Ways to Hone Your Self-compassion
Affirmations can rewire our brains to think differently. These short, simply yet powerful statements are designed to help challenge our inner critic, while also boosting confidence and hope.3, 4
Pick your favourite from the list below and repeat it to yourself three times in your head, and then three times out loud. Try starting or ending your day this way for the rest of the week.
- Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
- I have been given endless talents which I will begin to use today.
- I am worthy of celebration today.
Find your ‘why’
We deserve the space and time to uncover what we want out of life. By identifying and acknowledging our ‘why’ (i.e. our passions, goals, desires), we can instill a sense of purpose and motivation that can support us through difficulties and challenging times.5, 6 Try Quark at Work’s five-minute exercise for defining your purpose.
Manage the negatives
Our minds produce a constant stream of thoughts, a large portion of which are negative. One way to reduce the impact of these thoughts is to identify our negative self-talk and to reframe it to something kinder.
For example, when you are being hard on yourself, notice these thoughts and ask yourself what you would say to someone you love. You would probably express kindness, understanding or support. With this positive sentiment in mind, say it to yourself.
- Register for Search Inside Yourself Training to learn about emotional intelligence and mindfulness
- Two-minute tips on how to practice self-compassion (Kristin Neff)
- 10-minute guided meditation for self-compassion (Sonima)
As you cozy up this season, I invite you to find ways to be kinder to yourself, as well as to others. Try to see the common humanity among us. Extend the same compassion and care inwards that you show outwards for the people you care about.
Warmest wishes to you, your colleagues and your loved ones this season.
All my best,