Personal Growth

7 Ways On How To Practice Self-Compassion

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How do you practice self-compassion?

Do you constantly criticize yourself for any shortcomings or failures?
Do you constantly judge for not being beautiful?
Ever wanted to stop judging yourself and just love who you are again?

However, you may find it difficult to feel self-compassion after a trauma or troubling experience probably you’ve gone through a difficult divorce, you might have feelings of shame or guilt and may feel that you failed in your marriage. You tried healing yourself but you feel like you don’t deserve to be healed. You tend to criticize yourself more. You always beat yourself up.  

I’ve been like that before.

I had this inner voice that tells me that I am not good enough or worthy of someone else. It keeps telling me to change myself and everything because I’m doing it all wrong. It keeps telling me that I am unattractive and that no one will love me for who I am.

Whenever I fail to achieve anything no matter how small it is, I can’t stop beating myself up. I hated myself for not being able to achieve my goals in life. I also sometimes criticize myself for being a bit messy and unproductive. 

Judge yourself too much?

If you’re like me, you know that self-doubt arises when you constantly judge yourself for just being who you are, so how can you be able to beat this inner voice? Through compassion.

Compassion is a trait that you can develop and improve with consistent practice and willingness to accept this trait. It might be difficult to be compassionate these days because we live in an unjust world if we look it at that way. However, you still need to practice compassion to yourself and to other people.

7 Ways On How To Practice Self-Compassion:


1.) Be your own friend.

Just as Dr. Kristen Neff, a mastermind in the research of self-compassion study said that if you want to practice self-compassion, you must treat yourself like you would treat your friend. She talks about how this can help cultivate your love and happiness.

For example, if you constantly tell yourself that you are unworthy, you feel like you are unworthy. However, if you have a friend who keeps telling themselves that they are unworthy, what would you say to them? You might tell them they are too harsh on themselves. If you are a good friend, you would try to encourage them.

Every time that you criticize yourself, comfort yourself the way you would you comfort your friend. It’s one simple way to practice compassion for yourself.

2.) Accept your flaws.

Dr. Neff also talked about common humanity. Most of you criticize yourself for being imperfect and tend to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. You are only human. You are meant to be vulnerable and imperfect. All of us go through hardships and pains in life. You and I have frustrations and disappointments. This is part of our experience.

You must accept that you are only human and everyone goes through the same journey as yours. We might have a different journey but we do experience pain and hardships. Spend as much time as much with your friends and family. 

3.) Be mindful.

Another one from Dr. Neff, you may tend to control or hold back your emotions especially when or even after you experience any traumatic event in your life.  I was like this before.

I tend to repress my emotions after Typhoon Sendong hit our hometown and damaged my house last December 2011. I and mom weren’t able to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s eve. Our lives have been turned upside down and we just tend to control the pain for at least 3 years. I don’t know about Mom’s feelings but I still held it back until I let all the emotions out this year 2019.

Whenever you experience any tragic event and you find yourself wallowing in dark emotions, acknowledge and let it all out. Don’t shake it off and you will feel better sooner.


3.) Don’t stay as a victim.

If you are a victim of any abuse, you may suffer from the victim mentality. I understand what you’re going through. You tend to blame yourself for not being able to fight back, ask for help or even standing up for yourself. I’ve become a victim of narcissistic abuse for a short time but you must understand that you must never stay victim for all your life.

You must be gentle with yourself and practice self-care. This could include actively participating in physical activities such as boxing, yoga or running. Even mindful breathing is part of self-care.


4.) Stop being overly critical.

Having a healthy self-criticism can actually help you grow as a better person however if you tend to go far, you know you have become a victim of your own mental and verbal abuse. When you’re overly critical, you are your own worst enemy, as well as everyone else.

You must always pay attention to your thoughts and talk yourself out of it. This is when you can start Dr. Neff’s way of self-compassion. Treat yourself like you treat your good friend. When your voice talks to you, you either go for a walk or call a friend to talk about a different subject. Start accepting and owning your thoughts, actions & feelings.


5.) Have positive self-talk.

Self-criticizing can be stressful. The more you blame, criticize or put yourself down, the more your reality is altered in a way that you can’t achieve your goals in life.

You must remember that your actions are inspired by your thoughts. Everything you think and say is taken and processed on your brain. It then proceeds to you to take action so your thought becomes a reality. You can do this by reciting positive affirmations with a positive feeling every day. 


6.) Forgive yourself.

Everyone makes mistakes but you sometimes dwell on the mistakes too much that you continue to punish and berate yourself. You must learn to forgive yourself from your past mistakes and experiences.

You can do so by accepting the thing that had happened in the past, learn about your mistakes without dwelling on it too much and then forgive yourself. You can also write a forgiveness letter to yourself. Write down the things you have done in the past, how these have affected you and how you learned from these experiences.


7.) Practice gratitude.

This can help you keep track of the positives in life instead of criticizing yourself. This just keeps your attention away from negative thinking as well as negative emotions. You must appreciate every good thing in life. You must appreciate everything as if there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for. You can express your gratitude to the people you care about and to other people who need it.


CONCLUSION

With self-compassion, you can allow yourself to accept your failures, move past them and try again. Once you have self-compassion in you, you can share your compassion for others too. Always be compassionate to yourself as well as other people. Remember that by showing a little more compassion, our world will be a happier place for each and every one of us.

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Eleanor Wabe is the creator behind The Eleanor Journal, a digital platform of stories about personal growth, mental health, self-improvement, spiritual growth & self-care to help uplift your body, mind, soul, and heart.

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