Life is stressful, we face many challenges every day. It's important to be kind to yourself during these times, be gentle with yourself, give yourself some space and be forgiving. This will help improve your mental health and well-being. At The Self Image Institute, we know that half the battle with helping out patients is encouraging them to be kind to themselves. Once you learn to be kind to yourself, you can begin to transform your mindset and tackle challenges head-on. So, we have developed a guide to help you be kind to yourself and begin to change your headspace for the better.
To learn more about our incredible treatments, explore our website or contact us on 07534 448713.
Why You Should Be Kind to Yourself
Self-compassion is a quality that can be cultivated through mindfulness and self-awareness. It’s the ability to be understanding and accepting of yourself, especially during difficult times.
Benefits of being kind to yourself include improved mental health, increased happiness, and increased resilience. The mental health benefits of being kind to yourself are endless. Self-compassion is a stronger predictor of mental health than self-esteem. The benefits of being kind to yourself don’t stop there. People who are more self-compassionate are also happier.
Furthermore, self-compassion has been linked to increased resilience. People who are more self-compassionate can bounce back from difficult situations more quickly. Therefore, by being kind to yourself, you can recover faster from setbacks and therefore reduce the likelihood of becoming depressed or worrying about situations.
Many of the clients we deal with tend to be hard on themselves, this is particularly detrimental to mental health and wellbeing. As part of our training, we encourage our clients to be kinder to themselves as it can have a profound effect on their lives.
When you’re kind to yourself, you:
Accept your mistakes and learn from them
Forgive yourself for your shortcomings
Allow yourself to be imperfect
Don’t compare yourself to others
Give yourself credit for your accomplishments
Treat yourself with compassion and understanding
Self-compassion is a quality that can be cultivated through mindfulness and self-awareness. It’s the ability to be understanding and accepting of yourself, especially during difficult times. It is important to be kind to yourself to allow yourself to grow as a person.
What Does it Mean to be Kind to Yourself?
There are 4 key elements to being kind to yourself:
Understanding that pain is universal
Speaking to yourself in a kinder tone
Facing your emotions clearly and soberly, in a way that avoids suppressing or exaggerating them
Setting realistic expectations for yourself
If you have the habit of being self-critical or pessimistic, it can be difficult to imagine what showing yourself kindness even looks like. Practising may feel unnatural, awkward, and fake. However, it is important to be patient with yourself and slowly incorporate these new behaviours into your life. Start by simply being more aware of the thoughts and words you use when talking to yourself. If you catch yourself using negative or harsh language, try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive way
For instance, if you tell yourself "I'm such a screw-up," try saying "I'm having a tough day." If you feel like you're not good enough, try saying "I'm doing my best." These may seem like small changes, but over time they can make a big difference. At first, this will feel strange and unnatural, but as we develop these habits over time, they will become more automatic and eventually second nature.
It’s not always easy to be kind to yourself, but it’s important to remember that you deserve compassion and understanding, just like anyone else. When you make an effort to be gentle with yourself, you’re taking an important step towards improving your mental health and wellbeing
Tips for Being Kinder to Yourself
As mentioned before, it can be difficult to incorporate these habits into your lifestyle as they often feel unnatural and fake. So, here are a couple of tips to help you implement these into your thought process a bit more easily.
Face Difficult Emotions
Practising self-compassion is vital to being kinder to yourself, especially when life gets tough. Difficult emotions such as sadness, anger, and shame can be overwhelming, but by sitting with these emotions and allowing yourself to feel them, you are practising self-compassion. This can be difficult at first, but with practice, it will become easier to be gentle and understanding with yourself. It is important to understand why you feel these emotions as well as how they make you feel as a result. Understanding triggers of negative emotions can be the first step to overcoming them and finding positive solutions.
When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a moment to ground yourself. This can be done by focusing on your breath and noticing the sensations in your body. Another great way to ground yourself is to focus on your feet. When you begin to feel unsettled or scared, pay special attention to your feet. Notice how they are planted to the ground and that the floor supports you. This will help you to feel more stable and connected to the present moment, which can be helpful when dealing with difficult emotions. This provides you with the opportunity to relax and focus, hence allowing you to face your emotions.
Notice What You are Grateful For
When you are feeling down or struggling with negative thoughts, it can be helpful to take some time out to be grateful. This can be done in many ways, but the simplest is to list things you are grateful for in your head simply. This can be anything you want it to be, as long as it brings joy. By actively taking time to be grateful, you bring more joy into your life and can take your mind off of your negative thoughts. This is a great way to practice self-compassion and being kind to yourself, as it allows you to focus on the positive aspects of your life.
Do What You Enjoy
When it comes to taking care of ourselves, there are many different ways to do so. We all have different needs and wants, so it is important to find what works best for us. The most important thing is that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves. Even when we think negatively of ourselves, we still find joy in things. It is important to understand what these things are to ensure that you reward yourself with positive emotions. This can also help to understand why positive emotions are brought on. By understanding what brings us joy, we can incorporate it into being kinder to ourselves.
Savour Physical Senses
Now we're not saying to go around and touch everyone and everything, but physical senses are a great way to settle us and be kind to ourselves. It can be as simple as touching something soft or taking a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Physical senses are a great way to be present in the moment and be aware of your surroundings. This can be very calming, especially when emotions are running high. When we focus on our physical senses, it allows us to be more compassionate with ourselves as we are not dwelling on negative thoughts.
At The Self Image Institute, we can help you to be kinder to yourself through hypnotherapy. We help you to train your mind to bring on positive emotions rather than dwelling on negative thoughts and situations. We believe that being kinder to yourself is a great way to enhance our mental well-being and take on the challenges we face in life.
Article: Phoenix Marketing