Saying those three words to family members, spouses and friends always seems to be special. But how many times have you said that to yourself?
For many of us…never.
Kristin Neff, a professor of Psychology at University of Texas at Austin, says self-compassion is not to be confused with self-indulgence or lower standards.
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent,” said Dr. Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. “They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
Imagine your reaction to your son or daughter who struggles with a school subject. Most parents would offer support, find a tutor or work with them one on one. But when adults find themselves feeling something similar such as struggling at work, they fall into patterns of self criticism resulting in less motivation.
In a New York Times interview, Dr. Neff stated, “Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation,” Dr. Neff said. “The reason you don’t let your children eat five big tubs of ice cream is because you care about them. With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”
According to research, people who practice self compassion feel more joy, gratitude and optimism than those who are critical of themselves.
If you need more reasons to love yourself, (hopefully you do not!), here are some ways embracing yourself can change your life:
Have you been feeling an internal shift lately? Or perhaps a sense of unease or disruption? If so, you may be feeling the effects of Mars Retrograde.
"I declare that the heart's release by sympathetic joy has the sphere of infinite consciousness for its excellence."