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Self-Compassion: Be Kind to You
Want to build a better you? Being kind to others can make you feel great. But being kind and gracious to yourself is something that no one can do better than, well, you. It’s called self-compassion.
The practice of self-compassion is developed in the same way as caring for others. The term compassion means to “suffer with,” so it’s essentially having empathy for yourself. The concept is to be as forgiving with yourself as you would be to others.
Elements of self-compassion
There are three important areas of focus:
Ways to build in more self-compassion
Do unto yourself as you would do unto others. Sometimes it feels easier to have compassion for others. Switch this way of thinking around and turn a kind eye on yourself.
Take a mindfulness break. Acknowledge what you are feeling in the moment and recognize that you are not alone in feeling this way. Others have been there too. Think about what someone else could say to you to help you feel better, and say it to yourself.
No more negative self-talk. Whether you are speaking out loud or internally to yourself, make sure that your voice is full of love, caring and positivity. We tend to internalize our inner dialogue and make that script happen. If you change it to a positive outcome, you are more likely to experience that within your day-to-day life.
Try and identify what you want out of life and make it happen through love rather than fear.
And finally, take good care of others and you. It’s not realistic to go through life without some kind of caregiving to children, aging parents or even a chronically ill partner or friend. But make sure to take the time to assure yourself that you are there for you, and that you can get through this stressful period, whatever it might be.
Remember to love and care for yourself. You are your own best advocate and know exactly what is needed for the best you. Trust in your own resources to be able to better find that balance.
For more suggestions and resources on self-compassion, visit www.militaryonesource.mil or call 800-342-9647.