We live in a world that prioritizes being busy, hustling, putting other’s first and pushing ourselves to the limit. When fail to live up to these standards we become harsh and critical to ourselves.
However, a new study has found that instead of beating ourselves up for not living up to unrealistic expectations, it is better to be kind to ourselves and practise self-compassion. This year, many of us could benefit from protecting ourselves from negative self-talk and self-harm.
In an article written by Dr Emma Seppala for Stanford University’s Center For Compassion And Altruism Research and Education she describes self-compassion as follows:
“Self-compassion involves treating oneself as one would a friend, being more mindful, and understanding our situation in the context of a larger human experience. When we can be more understanding and gentler with ourselves, identify less with the emotions that surround our mistakes, and understand that failure is a normal part of the larger human experience, we become stronger and more successful in the long run”.
What do you have to gain from being kind to yourself? According to The Harvard Review “Forgiving and nurturing yourself can set the stage for better health, relationships, and general well-being. Self-compassion yields a number of benefits, including lower levels of anxiety and depression.”
As we continue on our global journey through the Covid-19 Pandemic, self-compassion can be a much-needed aid to help us survive these turbulent and terrifying times.
Researchers suggest that treating yourself with kindness “acts as a protective factor from the negative mental health impacts of the pandemic and enhances resilience.”
This year, instead of being harsh with yourself, try a little tenderness.