Self Compassion, calls for us to treat ourselves with the same kindness and care that you would for a friend. -Dr. Kristin Neff
For the past 60 days plus our nation has challenged each of us to operate out of a framework of a new normal. A new normal that has increased our daily news intake, allowed us to become more familiar with our elected government officials, tempted us to eat more comfort foods, grow out our hair, as well as become more up close and personal with our device’s video camera. The plethora of emotions that accompany this new normal can range from fear and frustration to anger and confusion moment to moment. In this space there has been uncertainty, scarcity and loss of life. In these moments our hearts become full of care and concern for the wellbeing and safety of others and we ignore our own inner voice that may be requesting the same care and concern and once again putting the needs of others before our own. The notion of being kind to ourselves can be seen as self-centered or self-serving. However, Dr. Neff’s research challenges those misconceptions. Actually “self compassion can decrease negative emotions/results, and increase positive emotions/results!
Practicing increased patience, forgiveness and understanding of our own personal failures, mistakes, shortcomings and struggles increases our resilience by teaching us to accept our flaws. Self compassion can also increase motivation, as we become more familiar and accept our failures and taking responsibility we are more likely to try again. So the next time you mess up, feel scared or lose your temper consider the following tips. Take a deep breath, scan your body, identify the emotion and where you feel it in your body and breath through it. Remember pain and discomfort is inevitable, suffering is a choice, instead choose YOU and consider self-kindness over self judgment.