Self Kindness - How kind are you to yourself?
Feb 12, 2020
This week's blog topic is on.... Self-kindness! Yes you heard it, being to kind to yourself. Here at Samantha Hannah Wellbeing Academy, two of our values are kindness and self-compassion.
You may or may not have heard of it, but - it often gets thrown around a bit! “You must be kind to yourself.” “Speak nicely to yourself” “How you talk to yourself sets up every relationship you have”. Okay... you get the drift!
The thing is... deep down, we all want to be kind to ourselves.
We all want to let go of the inner critic, bully or talking unkindly to ourselves – because that doesn’t feel good. It makes us make decisions based off harsh, untrue or negative thoughts that don’t serve us well.
So... what exactly is self-kindness?
“Self-kindness, also referred to as self-compassion, comes from Buddhist cultures and is less intentionally cultivated in the West. “ Read more
Following this, I really like this definition from Kristen Neff PhD, an expert on self-compassion:
“Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.
Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. To have compassion for others, you must notice that they are suffering.”
Self-kindness can also be defined as “a positive, proactive attitude toward oneself.” Read more. So when we are kind to ourself, we have a positive attitude towards ourselves and take proactive action to support this.
So you can see, self-kindness is practicing compassion towards ourselves. It’s choosing to speak kindly to ourselves. Self-kindness affects many areas in your life, and in the wider picture it helps create positive growth and personal development.
It’s choosing to take positive actions that will support our wellbeing. It’s putting yourself first and caring for yourself as you would a loved one.
And remember, being kind to yourself isn’t easy. This is a normal response that a lot of humans have. As humans we often speak unkindly, judge, criticise and believe negative thoughts about ourselves.
It all starts with awareness. If we are aware of our inner critic or bully, we can choose to respond in a mindful way if we practice self-compassion.
What the research is saying:
Research says that practicing self-compassion can have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
Studies show that practicing self-compassion can:
- Increase happiness
- Increase optimism
- Increase wisdom
- Increase personal initiative Read more
Studies also show that it is a powerful predictor to mental health, as it is negatively associated with anxiety, depression and self-criticism. (Neff, 2007)
Self-kindness is a journey, we need to understand that it is a practice. Here are some mindful ways to practice self-kindness.
Here's 5 ways to practice self-kindness!
- Mindfulness. Be aware of your inner dialogue.
- Meditation - try a self-kindness meditation
- Affirmations – loving kindness phrases.
- Compassionate phrases – Re phrasing your talk
But the bottom line is.... Are YOU aware of how kind you are to yourself? Find out now.