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daisy@therapywithdaisy.com

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  • Daisy Chow

The Importance of Self Compassion

Why loving and having compassion for yourself is one of the greatest tools for mental health.

Compassion is the feeling of wanting to help an individual who is having difficulties. The word compassion gives mind ideas like kindness, understanding and tenderness. Most people try to be compassionate to other people; however we're not compassionate to ourselves. We sometimes are unable to practice self-compassion even if we are often very kind and understanding of others.

Being self-compassionate implies treating yourself gently rather than being harsh and self-critical.

This means keeping in mind that everybody suffers and everybody can make mistakes. When we feel depressed we sometimes feel estranged from other people. When we have self-compassion, we keep in mind that everybody grieves. An additional facet of self-compassion is keeping our struggling in perspective. We should accept that what we are feeling is very important without enabling our feelings to fully take over. Self-compassion implies remembering we've been happy before and we could be happy once again, even if it is hard to picture feeling as such.


Self-compassion means knowing that struggling and failures are a part of the common human experience. By giving yourself compassion, you accept and forgive, instead of ignore or criticize, your own personal suffering, difficulties, and personal down sides. Self-compassion is based on self-kindness. Rather than condemning yourself and your mistakes, try to understand and acknowledge the shortcomings and negative emotions. Then, actively give comfort and sympathy to yourself rather than criticism. Self-compassion takes on the foundation of well-being and involves being conscious of thoughts and emotions that make you feel confused or afraid.


Being compassionate to other people, or empathizing with other people, is the potential to recognize when somebody is suffering and needing to help them.

Notice the significance of the wanting help, to move ahead and to ease suffering.

Self-compassion is similar, only directed towards you. Being reluctant and assuming that you are weak often means suffering. Although suffering is often an inevitable part of life, you do not need to make it bad and spin in a circle of self-doubt, anxiety and inadequacy.


Self-compassion has the additional element of needing to alleviate or lower suffering. By extending this willpower to help yourself get better, you might naturally start to treat yourself more nicely and kindly. Giving compassion to yourself could help you distance yourself from dangerous self-criticism. Many people find that whenever they begin to offer themselves self-compassion, they start to escape the harmful effects of self-criticism. Therefore, they start to become more confident with themselves and they start to like their selves more.


Research shows that self-compassionate people experience more psychological health, like happiness, well-being, optimism, emotional resilience and social connections than people who don't give compassion to themselves. People who score higher on self-compassion are also unlikely to experience thought suppression, depression, anxiety, self-criticism, and perfectionism.

The potential to exercise self-compassion is very important when we're grieving mainly because feelings could be very severe and insistent.

Self-compassion aids successful mourning. It enables us to identify that grief is a kind of love and reminds us to get done what we could to either accept or relieve the pain. Self-compassion after loss means keeping in mind that we all encounter loss and everyone grieve, even if everyone experiences grief in their own different way. Every one of us suffers when we lose our loved ones. Self-compassion helps us to keep in mind the oscillation between handling and accepting the grief and setting it aside. We embrace our sadness and critical thoughts of the individual who died and we as well accept and cherish the times that we find comfort from the pain. Individuals with complex grief often have difficulties with self-compassion.

     

Self-compassion enables us to embrace grief as the kind of love takes when somebody we love dies, instead of trying to get over the grief. Self-compassion as well reminds us to do what we could to reduce our personal suffering. Losing someone you love often makes us feel lonely and cut off from the world. Self-compassion enables us to remember that we aren't alone. Mindful consent of our personal pain as well means keeping some consciousness that the loss and pain are not just things in our life or the one thing that is important in the world, even if it appears like it's all that matters.

     

Being self-compassionate and having positive self-talk, could actually help become mindful of difficult thoughts and emotions, like fear, anger, sadness and also self-loathing. However, do not confuse an optimistic relationship with yourself, with self-indulgence. Self-compassion means accepting all the facets of yourself, both negative and positive, and also being kind to yourself, without needlessly indulging than material goods. Another common myth is that self-compassion will compromise your self-discipline when, the fact is, it will likely motivate you to be a lot more goal-oriented. Self-criticizing brings you down, while self-encouragement is inspiring. It is just natural, for any human, to become more active when happy.

       

Meditation practice has been the key for developing self-compassion. Meditation enables us to discover that we don't have to be defined by our emotions and thoughts. In fact, they could be seen like clouds that move across the sky, leaving no long-term impression. Working with the mind this way helps to build calmness and simplicity and to help us to accept ourselves as we are even with those parts of us that we find difficult or unbearable.

       

Mindfulness could help us to have things in perspective by allowing us to be present to what's happening to us, instead of losing ourselves in worry.

We try to view our thoughts, emotions and circumstances with lesser judgment, accepting them as they are. Usually when something occurs that we don't like we react immediately without thinking through the consequences. This could cause more difficulties when we lash out at others even if it was unintentional. Mindfulness helps the mind to relax and be less reactive. 

       

Self-compassion is a skill that can be learned by anyone. By carefully creating a practice of extending happiness toward ourselves, particularly in periods of suffering, we could reverse old behavior and build self-compassion. Studies have also shown self-compassion could be heightened by behaving compassionately to others. Taking the opportunity to support others when they are struggling can also make you feel better about what you are personally going through. 

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