Self-compassion practice to improve your happiness

Most people think of self-compassion as being kind to themselves. Although this is certainly part of the concept, self-compassion involves a way of relating to yourself that makes you more emotionally flexible, able to manage challenging emotions, and strengthen your connection with yourself and others. The ability to connect with oneself in a compassionate way sounds easy, but in reality, it can be a big challenge.

When friends or loved ones come to you due to personal struggles or challenging situations, you may find it easy to show sympathy to them. Your response to them may be a kind of understanding, hope, guidance and encouragement.

However, when we face the challenges of our own lives, we tend to be more demanding or critical of ourselves. We examine our thoughts and actions in a way that might make us feel unworthy, ashamed, and frustrated with ourselves. In order to move on, we may tell ourselves to “cheer up” or “overcome it.” Although the purpose is to help us move forward when we are emotionally challenged, this way of connecting with ourselves can cause tremendous stress and become a major obstacle to our ability to experience happiness in ourselves and others.

3 elements of self-compassion

Dr. Christine Neff, a psychologist and pioneer researcher in the field of self-compassion, outlined the three elements of self-compassion:

  1. Treat yourself well: When people who practice self-compassion find themselves in a challenging situation, they realize that imperfections or imperfections are sometimes part of their lives. The ability to navigate these experiences without letting yourself down is an element of self-compassion.
  2. Common humanity: When we face challenges, it is easy to feel lonely in our experience, as if other people cannot connect with what we are experiencing. Those who practice self-compassion understand that some of these challenges are part of the common human experience.
  3. Mindfulness: Practicing self-compassion involves being able to observe our uncomfortable emotions without exaggerating or ignoring them. This mindful and balanced position helps us not become emotional.
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How to practice self-compassion

The various exercises suggested by Dr. Neff can help us learn the practice of self-compassion:

  • Imagine how you would talk to a friend. We can often express kind words, hope and encouragement to friends or relatives. When going through difficult times, please take a moment to think about how you would respond to your close friends if they are experiencing a similar situation.
  • Become an observer. When we are emotionally challenged or struggling, it feels like we are just reacting and trying to spend this moment emotionally. By slowing down, we can take a small step back to observe our experience. Looking at the big picture can help us see things in perspective and help us see important information that may be missed.
  • Change your self-talk. Please pay attention to how to talk to yourself when you encounter negative emotions. Try to restructure your critical self-statement in a more positive and educated way. This new tone sounds more like a mentor or advocate than a critic or judge.
  • Keep a diary and write it down. Take some time each day to write about some of the challenges you are going through. Pay attention to the moment when your mind tends to fall into a critical statement or when you start to feel lonely in the experience. As with self-dialogue, consciously reconstruct any critical statement in a softer, more understandable tone to see how it might be different.
  • Know what you want. As you practice restructuring critical thoughts into methods that are more conducive to self-talk, you can begin to discover clues about what you need and want. Take a moment to think about what you want, need, or desire in life. Clarifying these needs will help you focus on where you want to go and where you are working, and will help increase motivation and happiness.
  • take care of yourself. Sometimes we take care of others and neglect or completely neglect the need to take care of ourselves. As you practice self-compassion, you will realize that you also need to be satisfied and worthy of these self-care behaviors. The ability to build self-care practices can help reduce the desire to adopt unhealthy coping behaviors when faced with challenges and stress.

Get advice from the VigorTip Mind podcast

Hosted by LCSW’s editor and therapist Amy Morin, this episode of “The VigorTip Mind Podcast” shares strategies for building self-compassion, including best-selling author Kristin Neff (Kristin Neff) ).

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The effect of self-compassion on your emotions

As an exercise, self-compassion can help regulate your emotions.

Help calm down negative emotions

The practice of self-compassion—especially compassionate thinking—has been found to produce beneficial psychological changes in negative emotions. Using self-compassion techniques can help calm the experience of negative emotions and make people remember that they are not alone in the process of experiencing hurt, pain, and loss. In the practice of compassionate statements and reassessment, feelings of negative emotions can calm down, leaving room for mindfulness observation and healthy decision-making.

Practicing self-compassion can also bring creativity and motivation to the surface.

Helps increase positive emotions

It has been found that self-compassion can foster positive emotions, especially feelings of soothing, warmth, and safety. Although this will definitely help when encountering difficulties, it also helps us in our daily lives. Our personal life, work, and even daily interactions with strangers can trigger reactive emotional reactions. Using self-compassion techniques allows us to pay more attention to ourselves and our decision-making, and thus to have a more balanced and positive interaction with others.

Get advice from the VigorTip Mind podcast

This episode of The VigorTip Mind podcast hosted by LCSW’s editor-in-chief and therapist Amy Morin shares how to be kind to yourself.

Very good sentence

As Dr. Neff described, the practice of self-compassion may be very different from anything you have done before. Although these techniques are used to help us better connect with ourselves and better manage challenging emotional experiences, when you start practicing some of these methods, you may feel a little uncomfortable. Be patient with yourself and remember that we cannot control all aspects of life, including how quickly we can transform old, self-critical habits into new, healthy, and compassionate habits.

Pursuing greater happiness through self-compassion is a gift to yourself and those around you. As you practice self-compassion, you may find that your interactions with others become less passive, and you may find yourself willing to move forward in areas where you previously felt stuck. In fact, when you seek a new, healthy lifestyle and connect with yourself, you may begin to experience happiness.