4 Steps to Start the Practice of Self-Compassion

Meditation silhouette at sunset.

The Four Breaks and the Four Seals are powerful concepts that are based on the rational Chinese medicine (TCM) understanding that nurturing one’s righteous qi helps prevent the pathogenic qi (Xie Qi) from harming the body. (Image: via Pixabay)

It’s important to recognize self-compassion, but we often avoid doing so because we’re afraid that it will be too hard. This is a misconception as self-care can actually give us more energy and help us feel better about ourselves!

4 easy steps to self-compassion

1. Remind yourself that you are not alone

One of the main reasons that we neglect ourselves is because we feel alone in our struggle. However, everyone experiences problems and difficult emotions, no matter how perfect their life may look from the outside! One way to remind yourself that you’re not alone is by keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down a few things that you are grateful for. If it’s helpful, keep this journal on your nightstand so that you can read through it when you wake up each morning. This can help remind you that others go through similar difficulties even if they act like everything is okay!

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You need to accept the fact that people make mistakes and sometimes do despicable things; this doesn’t mean that you can’t love them, it just means that you need to understand where they’re coming from. This will help you feel more compassionate and understanding of yourself too.

You need to accept the fact that people make mistakes. (Image: 984949 via Pexels)

2. Make time for self-care

Most of us don’t make time for self-care because we think that taking care of ourselves will be more trouble than it’s worth. However, making time for self-care is actually one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. It can even have ripple effects, resulting in more energy to take care of others! Be sure to schedule time into your day to take care of your needs.

Self-care is anything that makes you feel good. For example, you could go for a walk outside, take a hot bath with candles and oils, or cuddle up on the couch with your favorite book! Whatever it is that helps to lift your spirits or relaxes your mind — do it regularly so that you don’t forget about yourself. Self-care is a priority just like your schoolwork or your relationships.

3. Accept your flaws

One thing that stops us from caring for ourselves is feeling negative about our flaws or struggles. The truth of the matter is that none of us are perfect and we all have things about ourselves that we wish we could change! But who would you be without those aspects? Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with yourself, practice self-compassion by accepting these parts as a part of who you are and not something that makes you less valuable or capable.

Acceptance of your imperfections does not mean that you can’t try to make changes. Self-compassion is about loving yourself as you are and making positive changes for your future, not beating yourself up about things in the past! Dwelling in the past will only make you feel worse about yourself while accepting these parts of who you are can help you get through them and move forward.

Kindfulness is part of self-compassion.
Kindfulness is about making positive self-talk a habit. (Image: Satjawat Boontanataweepol via Dreamstime)

4. Practice kindfulness

One way that we avoid taking care of ourselves is by rushing through tasks or by engaging in self-talk that pushes us toward everything faster. Unfortunately, this kindling makes us feel worse about ourselves by encouraging negative thinking and ignoring our needs. Instead, try to be kind to yourself as you go about your day. There is no need to rush through tasks and if you notice negative self-talk, it’s perfectly okay (and actually necessary) to tell yourself that you are doing the best you can!

Kindfulness is about making positive self-talk a habit. If you have to tell yourself that you are doing the best you can, it will become easier to be kind to yourself in the future! This is an integral part of self-compassion.

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