Are you as kind to yourself as you are to others? Take a self-pity break. Ask yourself, “What do I want now?” Then, do something good for yourself: take a walk or take a hot bath. Call a friend for support. Adopt this mantra: “I am going to take pity on myself. I accept myself as I am.” Being good to ourselves makes us more likely to adopt healthy behavior.
Why am I doing this?
Recently, I have heard from a lot of readers who are pestering themselves to gain weight or exercise less during the epidemic lockdown. But it is important to remember that almost all struggled during this last year. Shaming yourself is the opposite. A large body of research suggests that when we give ourselves pause, and accept our flaws – a concept called self-compassion – we are more likely to take care of ourselves and live healthier lives.
Self-compassion is rooted in centuries of Buddhist tradition, but has recently been subjected to rigorous scientific review. several studies Have shown that self-compassion is strongly associated with overall well-being. Practicing self-compassion can reduce depression, stress, performance anxiety and body dissatisfaction. This can lead to increased happiness, confidence, and even immune function.
At its most basic, self-compassion is to treat yourself the same way you treat your friends and family. But about 75 percent of people who find it helpful and easy to understand for others, score very low on self-compassion tests and are not very good for themselves, said Kristin Neff, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who has pioneered self-compassion research.
Dr. Neff said, “It is a misconception that if I am strict and self-critical on myself, it will help me and inspire me to make changes in my life.” “It does the opposite. When you embarrass yourself, it becomes harder to make positive changes in your life.”
In his new book, “Fierce self-compassion: How women can use kindness to express themselves, assert their power, and thrive“Dr. Neff discovered new ways we could practice self-compassion. One of the simplest places to start is to ask yourself,” What do I need right now? “
“We say, ‘What do I need to do,’ or ‘What should I do,” Dr. Neff said. “But ask yourself, ‘What do I really want?’ Stop and let an authentic answer emerge. Maybe what you want is not what everyone in your life is telling you that you want. “
Some people worry that self-compassion is a form of self-pity or that self-acceptance simply means giving up. But studies show that when people practice self-compassion, they become more flexible, Less focused on their problems and more likely To adopt healthy behavior.
Dr. Neff said, “Research suggests that people are more likely to exercise, eat well, and get motivated, but they do it with encouragement – not because they feel inadequate.” “The more you are able to accept yourself, the more you are able to make those positive healthy changes in your life.”
How kind are you to yourself? Dr. to get a snapshot of his own level of self-compassion. Take this brief test developed by Neff. If you score low, commit to learning some self-compassion practices. If you score high, then continue to practice self-compassion to build on what you already have.
You did it
If you are doing this challenge with me, congratulate yourself for participating, as part of your effort to take care of yourself. If you missed a challenge, you can find all 10 days here. For more challenges and tips on how to live well every day, join Free weekly well newsletter.