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.
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.
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!