Most of us have a tendency to be quite hard on ourselves, usually much harder on ourselves than we are on those we care about. We can generally feel compassion for a friend who is struggling whether physically, emotionally or mentally; yet when we are struggling we often slip into a spiral of self-criticism, inadequacy, self-limiting beliefs, anger and self-loathing. In our everyday lives – in work, in relationships and as parents, we often judge ourselves harshly and compare ourselves less favourably than others around us.
Mindfulness is awareness of what is happening , when it is happening with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Mindfulness can help us turn towards our difficult thoughts and feelings – emotions and physical – without blocking or turning away. Self-compassion helps us to change our relationship with our painful thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. It can help us to transform our negative self-talk into a way of relating to ourselves that is positive and nurturing and can help us to grow and flourish. We can respond with kindness and understanding to soothe and comfort ourselves. We can learn to bring the same caring attention to ourselves that we would bring to a loved one and that a loved one would offer us. We are all human and we all face difficulties; self-compassion is the awareness and that you too are worthy of compassion and you can make an active choice to give yourself permission to care for yourself.