Self compassion seems like a great idea in theory, but just how do you do it?
Often the voice in your head is not even something you are aware of. The way you talk to yourself is such a habit and is so automatic, that you may not even have any awareness that you are doing it. The first step to developing more self compassion is to work on mindfulness and self awareness. That is, pay attention to what it is that is happening in your mind. What is your mind saying to you about your experience? About who you are? About the mistakes you make? About your feelings and thoughts?
Keep a Journal
One thing that can help you once you become more mindful in the moment is to record the patterns and habits of the voice in your head. A journal can help you to uncover the tendency of the voice to be critical, harmful, shameful and unkind. It can also help you to explore how motivated you feel to succeed or do well in the world after listening to that voice.Likely, not motivated at all.
Practice talking to yourself as if you were someone you loved
Once you become aware of the voice in your head and how you interact with yourself, ask yourself if you would talk to a friend or someone you love that way. If not then why you? Would you allow a friend to talk to you this way?
Tell the Truth
Self compassionate is about telling the truth about the painfulness of your experiences, not about denying them. Recognize and accept all emotions that you feel. Part of a dialog of self compassion is admitting the difficult and painful emotions. We all have these experiences, they are human experiences, and we are not alone in our experiencing of them.
Self Compassion is not about letting yourself off the hook.
Recognize that practicing a language of self criticism and hatred, a war on the self, will not help you to be better stronger or smarter.
Research shows that people fear if they are kind to themselves, they are "letting themselves off the hook." The opposite is true. If you are kind to yourself you are more likely to admit your mistakes make corrections, make improvements, continue trying at relationships, at your career, and at life in general.
Learn and practice a new dialog. With phrases like:
Thanks for visiting!
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org