When I am working with clients to help them thrive, one of the many areas that we work on is self-compassion. Almost without exception, clients discover that they are being hard, judgemental and often unkind to themselves on a daily basis. This is because we can develop a belief that unless we treat ourselves like a harsh sergeant major, we will be lazy, weak and inadequate. We then feel that being highly self-critical of our perceived mistakes and shortcomings is the way to avoid failure.
In actual fact, research shows that self-compassion is much more beneficial to our psychological functioning than self-blame and that adopting an attitude of kindness and self-acceptance helps us to thrive. When we encourage ourselves we don’t become lazy and apathetic. Nor do we excuse or condone certain behaviours: instead we use our self-compassion skills to learn from them and place them in the wider context of our life.
Below is a list of the top 5 benefits of shifting from berating yourself to treating yourself with self-compassion:
1) A reduction in anxiety, stress and anger: when we are self-critical we actually increase our stress whereas self-compassion leads to greater wellbeing and improved mental health.
2) An increase in self-esteem: when we are self-compassionate we exercise self-acceptance without harsh judgement and without a need for perfection. Instead we believe we deserve care and concern just like everybody else.
3) It leads to an ability to thrive: self-compassion leads to a realistic appraisal of our life and our abilities so that we see perceived mistakes and set-backs as part of the learning process in a way that means we can always keep perspective, move forward and live life fully.
4) It boosts our ability to manage our emotions effectively: when you treat yourself in the same way that you would treat a good friend you feel able to recognise, understand and deal with the full range of human emotions.
5) An improvement in the quality of your relationships: when you recognise that you are on your own side, you can’t help but feel part of a larger team. The self-compassion you feel for yourself extends to others, leading to a greater feeling of inter-personal connection and understanding.
I have found that learning self-compassion has helped many clients overcome anxiety, depression, stress, low confidence, social anxiety and anger-management issues so that they have been able to create calm, manage their thinking, deal with their emotions effectively and thrive.
If you would to benefit from self-compassion please contact me to book a free initial consultation