‘Remember, you have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens’
There has been a lot of talk about self-love lately, but have you ever wondered what it means? What is it like to be compassionate towards our own self? How can we practice self-compassion? Self-compassion involves acting in a loving way towards ourselves when we face a difficult time, when we fail, or when we notice something that we don’t like about ourselves. Instead of ignoring these, asking ourselves, ‘what can I do to comfort myself at the moment?’, this is self-compassion.
Being compassionate towards oneself is in no way different from showing compassion to others. It is acknowledging the sufferings around you. Self-compassion is important because it helps you to be healthier and happier. It shows that you care for yourself, and accept yourself the way you are. It means honouring and accepting your human-ness. This practice has several other benefits. Research shows that individuals who are more self-compassionate in comparison to others tend to have greater happiness, experience more satisfaction in life, are more motivated and have better relationships. There is also an improvement in their physical health and mental health and they tend to have fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression. Self-compassion also increases resilience to everyday life stressors.
Some of the ways in which we can be compassionate towards ourselves would include: