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The Power of Self-Compassion during Challenging Times

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Earlier today I posted a picture on my Instagram stating ‘our struggles is optional’. You might have heard this over and again and certainly, we are going through such an unprecedented and challenging time of the Coronavirus pandemic. The lifestyle we once had has been limited, stressful and challenging especially adapting to the new normal life. If you feel like this, you are not alone. Everything has changed and yet, it’s easy to expect yourself to somehow magically adjust and be able to do everything just like you did before. And if you can’t, it’s too easy to berate yourself or react harshly. 

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I got really stuck in struggle recently and with the pandemic around. It's just tough. Doubting myself all the time, giving fuel to all of these thoughts of how I’m not good enough, unique enough, successful enough, doubting what I have to give and share.  For the first time in a while I felt completely overwhelmed with feelings of defeat and was at a loss for how to shift my energy. Can I just say it sucks to feel this way? This morning, I dragged myself to my usual meditation and just going through the motions, watching the clock. And then, suddenly, there was this moment of clarity: I realized that I was causing so much of my own struggle with the endless struggle self-talk. It was not easy to admit this. I wanted to feel sorry for myself, to wallow in it. But I couldn’t run away from it: The challenges in my life were real, but the struggle I felt stuck in was mostly of my own doing. And I had the means to shift out of it. It’s really hard to learn lessons you teach, you know? 🤲🏼 challenges are constant and real in our lives, work and families. But when you practice to control you emotional skills, you gain the power and ability go move through them with less struggle. CHALLENGE IS REAL. STRUGGLES IS OPTIONAL, always always remember that. . . . #struggleisreal #emotionalwellbeing #pandemicteaching #struggleisoptional #happinessunderthesun #nature_perfection #naturemotivation #beingrealcomeseasy #emotionalwellness #lifestylebloggermalaysia

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It’s a lot to deal with and the only way to overcome these emotions is through self-compassion acts. It’s been 7 months now ever since the ‘new normal life’ was officially announced, and yet I am still trying to figure out everything that’s going on in my life, how I can re-adjust the plans I had visioned for this year and claim my life back in order. It’s funny how a pandemic just changed our lives isn’t it ??

It’s the practice of treating yourself as you would a good friend.

As a Psychology student, I know that practicing self-compassion actually increases our motivation to work harder and improves our mood. That’s because we are not wasting our valuable emotional energy and have the energy to figure out our next best step.

One of my favorite ways to practice self-compassion is by shifting from harsh to kinder self-talk. So many of us cause ourselves suffering through harsh, unkind, berating self-talk. This practice will help you change that.

During my prayer retreat in Malaysia

3 Steps to Kinder Self-Talk

Step 1: Become aware when you’re being harsh in your self-talk. 

Be mindful of the words and tone you use when you talk to yourself. Practice witnessing your self-talk as it happens. What is the tone like? What words or phrases do you use when you talk to yourself?

Step 2: Pause and be grateful that you noticed.

Take a breath and pause for a second. In this pause, connect to your inner witness. Feel the depth of your capacity to be aware of your thoughts and emotions without the need to immediately react and be grateful that you can do this.

Step 3: Imagine you’re talking to someone you really love and care about. 

Visualize this person and hold them in your heart’s attention. Now begin to reframe what you said to yourself and how you said it, imagining that you’re talking to this person.

I usually imagine I’m talking to my brother or my best friend and every time I do this practice, I am reminded how much kinder we are to people we love than to ourselves. By doing this practice you’re learning to treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness as you show towards others.

This has been one of the most life-changing practices for me and it’s really improved my relationship with myself. It’s also made me a more compassionate person and leader because how we treat others is rooted in how we treat ourselves.

I hope you will give it a try, especially when you’re struggling or facing a challenge – you deserve your own compassion and kindness!

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