Moving Forward Happier! Practice Self-Compassion

Moving Forward Happier!   Practice Self-Compassion

It is a well-known fact that there is a positive correlation between the positive quality of our thoughts and the increased level of happiness we feel.   This blog highlights the benefits of practicing self-compassion in order for us to be able to move forward….happier!

Compassion is the output of the feelings of caring, and empathy we experience when we witness the suffering of others.  Emotions and feelings of understanding, kindness, and care are enacted.

The same qualities are inherent in self-compassion, they are simply turned inward!  Self-compassion is therefore giving the same kindness to ourselves that we naturally give to others; creating a caring space within our being that is free of judgement.  It means when we are suffering, fail or make mistakes we should be kind and understanding towards ourselves.  Sounds easy right, but the truth is the vast majority of us do not practice this.  In fact, we practice quite the opposite, by berating ourselves for our parenting style or relationship and career choices.  We are much too hard on ourselves when we make mistakes….but no more!  In fact, I have learned so much from my mistakes, I am thinking of making a few more!

On a more serious note, sometimes we write about what we need to learn the most.  I find I am often out of balance, working too hard, doing too much and draining my energy reserves to the point of running on empty.  I know I am not alone, so why do we do this to ourselves?

Women are taught to nurture and care for everyone else, so perhaps we consider self-compassion to be a self-indulgent practice. Wrong!  We need to give some serious thought to the fact that we can’t take care of others in a nurturing and loving way if we haven’t first established those qualities in ourselves.  When women experience a major challenge in life, they tend to put all of their energy into solving the challenge.  They back-burner the fact that they are suffering, and fail to stop and provide themself with the care and comfort they need.  Why are we taught to first put on our own oxygen mask during plane travel?  Of course, so that we are in optimal shape to assist others!  There is a lesson here!

Welcome and embrace the positive added dimension of self-compassion into your life.  Give yourself permission to meet your own needs.  Studies have shown that a happier and healthier life are positive outcomes recognized when we go easier on ourselves and recognize and accept our imperfections.

Kristin Neff, Ph.D., author of the book “Self Compassion:  Stop Beating Yourself up and Leave Insecurity Behind” is an expert in the field of self-compassion.  Her website offers many free resources including a short assessment that tabulates your responses and provides an immediate analysis of your self-compassion level.  It can be found at http://www.self-compassion.org/test-your-self-compassion-level.html.  She also offers guided self-compassion meditation MP3 files which can be accessed at http://www.self-compassion.org/guided-self-compassion-meditations-mp3.html.

We can all benefit from a healthy dose of self-compassion to move forward happier.  Use the above tools and get started today!

What we do about our feelings determines the quality of our relationship with ourselves.  Cheri Huber

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