Learning how to have compassion for ourselves in the heat of the moment can be difficult for most of us. We can all think of a situation in our life that is difficult and it is causing us stress.
Attempt to remember the most recent situation and see if you can feel the pressure and the emotional discomfort that is coming about in your body.
- Acknowledge that this is a moment of suffering; it hurts, and this discomfort is part of life.
- Be mindful of what hurts now slowly place your hand on your chest over your heart.
- Console yourself by asking yourself what do I need to hear right now?
Get It All Out
Everyone has something about themselves that they do not like; something that is causing them to feel shame, embarrassment, and insecurity. It may be that you don’t feel good about yourself. Our imperfect feelings, failures, and choices we have made are part of our life.
Try writing about an issue you have that seems to be reoccurring, you keep rehashing in your mind.
What emotions come up for you when you think about discussing it?
A Compassionate Friend
If you can’t get the emotions to come out. Then, I recommend writing about the issue to a loving and imaginary friend. This friend of yours is present all of the time. This friend understands the limits of human nature and they are kind and they bring you comfort to you no matter what time of the day or night it is.
This friends great wisdom helps you greatly because they know your life history and all that has happened in your life. No matter how much you try to push this friend away, they never leave you. You may even blame them for not stopping something from happening to you.
Know that things were outside your control. We need to focus on the perceived inadequacy we tend to judge ourselves for.
- What would this friend say to you about your situation/issue from the perspective of them having unlimited compassion for you?
- How would this friend convey the deep compassion they feel for you over this painful situation/issue?
- What would this friend write about to remind you that you are only human and that you have the strength to overcome this situation/issue?
Accept this friend’s unconditional love and feel their presence, their kindness, and know that this friend does care and desires that you find happiness.
Feel the compassion this friend has for you. They are there to soothe and comfort you.
Touch helps soothe us, it relaxes us, it activates the care system and the parasympathetic nervous system to help us calm down and to feel safe. This may feel awkward at first but your body doesn’t know that you feel awkward. Our body just responds to the physical gesture of warmth and the care it provides as if you are holding an infant in your arms. The skin is an incredibly sensitive organ that releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a love hormone and it provides a sense of security, it soothes distressing emotions and calms cardiovascular stress.
Compassion For Yourself
- Notice the stressor.
- Take 2-3 deep and satisfying breaths.
- Place your hand over your heart.
- Feel the gentle pressure of your hand on your heart.
- Take in the natural rising and the falling of your chest as you inhale and exhale slowly.
- Soak up these feelings for as long as you like.
- Gently tickling your arms is another way to bring down the stress you are experiencing.
Hopefully, you’ll start developing new ways to bring calmness to yourself. Take full advantage of the tools that are available for us these days; free apps, classes, groups, etc.
Write In A Journal To Help Find Compassion For Yourself
It’s a useful way to work on your inner critic. It’s an internal dialogue. Write it out to read it later if you so choose to. This can lead to some major transformations.
Whether you are feeling bad about something, think about what you’ve just said to yourself. Are there common words you use when you are expressing something about yourself? What phrases come up over and over again? Is there a tone you maintain? Who are you mimicking? What pain keeps on recurring?
Cause and Affect = Results
Journaling is an effective way to express your emotions and this will help your well-being. Daily events are great things to write down and evaluate in your quiet times. Write down what you felt bad about, that you judged yourself with, or any other difficult experience that has caused you pain. Where you have become impatient with, reacted to a person in a certain way. What made you feel ashamed? Were there any embarrassing moments?
Use mindfulness and learn to have more self-compassion for yourself. Mindfulness is bringing awareness to the painful emotions that cross your mind and are derived from self-judgment.
Write down how you feel; sad, ashamed, frightened, stressed, angry.
- Acknowledge it happened and let it go.
- Accept that you have overreacted.
- Forgive yourself!
- What do you criticize yourself about?
- What do others criticize you about?
- Who has criticized you in the past?
The definition of dialogue is to take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem. Take ownership that this criticism no longer has control over you. It’s your life and you choose to not be controlled by another’s criticism, their issues are not your issues! It’s time to move on.
Meet your own needs head on. Recognize that this will enhance the quality of your life This will also allow you to be there for those that rely on you.