How to be kinder to yourself

How to be kinder to yourself

Increasingly, as I’ve aged and hopefully become more wise, I’ve realised that self-compassion is one of (if not) the most important factor in determining happiness.

And that’s because happiness is virtually impossible if we’re not kind to ourselves; if we can’t forgive ourselves; if we don’t accept our imperfections AND realise that everyone else is also imperfect.

For me, therefore, self-compassion and being kind to oneself are prerequisites for happiness. And if that makes sense to you, then keep reading…

via TED Ideas by Susan David

People who have greater levels of self-compassion tend to be more motivated, less lazy, and more successful over time. But just as important, they like themselves, even when they fall short. Psychologist Susan David explains how you can cultivate this quality.

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.

One of the great myths of self-compassion is that it’s about lying to yourself. Or, that it’s about being weak or being lazy. Another myth is that it’s about pushing aside your difficult thoughts and saying, “Now I’m going to tell myself five positive things.”

That’s not self-compassion. When you are self-compassionate, you’re actually doing something very specific for yourself — you’re noticing difficult thoughts, showing up for them, and creating a sense of psychological safety for yourself.

You’re creating a space in which you feel able to take risks. If you beat yourself up whenever you fail or fall short, this naturally inhibits you from trying new things and taking chances. But when you’re self-compassionate, you know that even if you fail, you’ll still like yourself. In this way, self-compassion gives you the ability to experiment and explore, and to be courageous.

In research studies, people who have greater levels of self-compassion tend to be more motivated, less lazy, and more successful over time. They still recognize where they’ve gone wrong, but rather than getting caught up in blame and judgement, they can learn from the experience and adapt and change course for the next time.

So how can you cultivate self-compassion? Start by ending the tug-of-war inside yourself. In a research study that looked at more than 70,000 people, I found about one-third of the participants judged their normal experiences and emotions as being “good” or “bad”, “positive” or “negative”. When you evaluate your life in such a black-and-white way, you’re entering into an internal tug-of-war — you criticize yourself whenever you feel “bad” or “negative” emotions and whenever you don’t feel “good” or “positive” emotions…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE