True health is about combining a healthy body with a healthy, happy mind and heart– and that is the beauty of adding the practice of self-compassion to your daily routines.
It is more common, especially with women, to treat others better than we treat ourselves.This is particularly so when we’ve made a mistake or we’re struggling in some way.
In fact, we can actually be harsher, more critical to ourselves than we are to someone we don’t like.
Can you see the impact of this on your self-worth? Also, your health?
Not so good, right!
The phrase that’s used to describe this negative inner voice is the inner critic. And it’s very influential in our lives.
The inner critic is this internal voice that commands us to be a certain way.
It sends us negative messages.
So the words that it uses are accusatory, attacking and the tone tends to be harsh, angry and disappointed.
And the feelings this evokes can be a sense of failure, shame, guilt, inferiority, anxiety, sadness, fear and often a sense of helplessness.
For example, I should have done that.
I’m a bad person.
I can’t do this.
I’m a fraud.
They don’t like me.
I’m a failure- I’ll never be able to do that.etc. etc.
This is often accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations, for example, a feeling of heat in the body, palpitations, sweating and tingling.
I’m sure you can relate to this and the upset it causes you?
In an effort to ease these unpleasant emotions and sensations, we’ll usually engage in automatic or unhelpful behaviours to help cope with the experience – like drinking alcohol, checking our phone, or over-eating.
Further examples of this inner critic.
What’s wrong with me?How could I let this happen?
Why me it’s not fair?There’s nothing I can do right.
I look awful in this dress; I’m so fat.
I’m hopeless with computers.
I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I know,
I think I am the world’s worst cook.
I wonder how many times I’ve made this mistake before; I’m an idiot.
Any of those sound familiar?
Now the inner critic thinks that it’s helping us.
It’s reasoning goes something like this: If I give myself a hard time then it won’t hit me so hard when others do.
I already know that I’m not good enough, so others can’t hurt me.
But this isn’t actually true. It doesn’t actually help you because it leads to all this negative internal chatter, which makes you feel- well -terrible.
Physical sensations in the body that are unpleasant, and also emotions that are unpleasant.
So, how can that be helpful?
For now I’d like to say that we need an antidote to the inner critic.
And that antidote is self-compassion.
Self-compassion is compassion directed towards yourself.
Self-compassion is treating yourself well, being kind to yourself, as if you are important and that you like and respect yourself.
Can you imagine the positive impact this would have in your life?
So self-compassion is offering compassion to yourself.
Where you relate to yourself in a very kind and friendly way.
Where you have a sense of care and concern for yourself when you’re faced with the various problems and difficulties that you have in your life.
A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day, a string of such moments can change the course of your life.
Wouldn’t that make your life so much better in so so so many ways…..?