It is not always easy being a human being, so it’s important to consider how to choose self-compassion. We are often faced with difficulties that lead us to push ourselves too hard and be overly self-critical. According to Mindful, a non-profit focused on the practice of mindfulness, the thoughts we feed our minds are directly linked to our mood and how we take care of ourselves. Each day we have the option to feed our minds with encouraging and loving phrases, or critical and judgmental words.
One way to help shift away from negative thinking is to identify four non self-nurturing thoughts and five self-nurturing thoughts. Here are some examples:
Non self-nuturing thoughts:
-I have no one in my life who truly loves me.
-I will always be fat, so why bother trying?
-I am dumb.
-Nothing in my life ever goes right.
-I am worthy of love.
-I accept myself as I am right now.
-I am smart and capable of succeeding.
-My life has up and downs just like everyone, but I have enough right now.
Reflect on how reading the above thoughts made you feel. Did reading the non self-nurturing thoughts make you want to curl up in bed with a box of chocolates? Did the self-nurturing thoughts make you feel empowered, happy and confident? That’s not surprising – It has been proven that practicing self-nurturing thinking leads to more positive emotions, greater self-compassion and less depressive symptoms.
In addition to shifting your thinking, I encourage you to think of other ways to practice self-love.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
-Be your own best friend and find ways to enjoy your own company.
-Surround yourself with loving people.
-Write or say positive affirmations to yourself each day, such as “I am beautiful”.
I challenge you this Valentine’s Day to take one of the above tips and show yourself some love. If you like what you are feeling, then keep it going – Self-compassion can be (and should be) a year-round practice!
-Kristi, Katie & Elizabeth