Being Kinder With Yourself
Why are we so often so harsh on ourselves when we are so understanding with the people around us? Why are our own inner critical voices the ones that are often the loudest? In challenging times like this filled with much anxiety and unknown situations we have to look after ourselves more than ever.
We have put together some tips and exercises on how to start being kinder and more compassionate with your inner being.
Stay safe. Be well. Flood your Being with Light and Truth.
Being Kinder With Yourself - 4 Tips
- For starters
Try to be as nice to yourself as you would be with a friend. Not criticizing but understanding. Be conscious that everyone is sometimes having a hard time and is suffering. This thought will help you when something doesn’t work out the way you want it to. Try to extend the time in between the situation when something bad or unexpected happens and the time you judge it with your thoughts. This break between the stimulus and the reaction will help you to break the pattern to constantly and immediately judge yourself.
- Get to know your inner critics
Make yourself aware about all the judging unfriendly things you tell yourself all day. Realize that these thoughts and emotions do not have to be the reality. It is easy to look at things from a distant perspective when you focus on the current moment – and you don’t think about what happened yesterday or what will happen in the future. If you have a pressing thought let it come. Look at it with a curious interest, what goes through your head and what happens with your body. Most of the time you will become calmer.
- See yourself as you are
Compassion is a way of life, a milder form to look at things, thinking and feeling – in relation to oneself and others. It is independent of your self-esteem. This we often make depended on things we can not purely influence ourselves: our own efficiency, the question if other people like us. The self-esteem is influenced by outside factors. The compassion for ourselves is a comforting aspect: it is essential that you see yourself as you are, with all the mistakes and flaws – and that you accept yourself in this way.
- Compare less
We tend to compare ourselves with people who are prettier, more intelligent or more creative than we are. Once you reached the point on being eye to eye with these people the question arises that there are others who are better. Ask yourself honesty: Do you really think this is important? Does it bring you peace? What is important to you? If you are unable to not compare yourself with others, try to get inspired instead. This way you will trigger more positive emotions rather than mode of competition.
A kind way of dealing with yourself - an exercise
Does your inner voice bother you, telling you constantly what you are doing wrong or could do better? If you become aware of your own critical voices you will manage better to ignore them and to be kinder with yourself. The following questions will help you to find out how your critical inner voice is reacting.
Think of an uncomfortable situation you faced in the last days.
What was it? Write it down.
Did you feel tension, anger or disappointment in this specific situation?
Can you write down what happened in detail very calmly and rational without making the situation bigger or more dramatic?
If you make yourself aware that every life has its ups and downs and that not everything goes smoothly for everyone:
What could you tell yourself in regards to this situation?
Does it feel different now? (Even uncomfortable emotions pass. It helps if one becomes aware of that.)
Which mistakes have you made (or think you have made) recently?
Did you have the feeling that because of these mistakes that you are not good enough?
Is there someone among your friends or family who makes similar mistakes but deals with them differently?
Could this way of handling situations also work for you?
Did you ever try to not plan out a whole day and simply see what unfolds?
Would you like to take things easier from time to time?
Breathe in deeply, exhale. Try to experience what you are feeling in this exact moment without exaggerating or leaving something out.
Do you feel tension somewhere? Try to describe your experience.
If things don’t work out the way you want them or turn out differently:
Can you imagine to honestly ask yourself what is happening at that moment – without judgement or self-critique – but in the same way you just did right now?
This makes me feel better
Continue this list for yourself. We know right now it is tough to think about this but it also gives you a perspective and maybe some inspiration for later on.
- A massage, a pedicure, a facial or something similar
- A visit to the gym
- A Saturday with my best friend in town having nice lunch
- To have a free afternoon or even day without any plans
- Going to the movies during the day
- To have a hot cup of coffee with a cake in a lovely café
- A walk through nature for at least an hour
- Read the newspaper on Sunday with no pressure
- Turn on the music very loud
- Going dancing
- Staying in bed in the morning with a book
- Watch a movie on Sunday afternoon at home (or five episodes in one go)
- Get fresh veggies at the market and then cooking a nice meal at home