If you are hard on yourself, you may find that you are your own worst critic. While paying attention to what you think and feel about yourself can help motivate you to take positive action, it can also produce negative results.
In this article, you will discover how to be kind to yourself.
How to Be Kind to Yourself
Research has shown that being kind to yourself has mental and physical health benefits. Examples include boosting your immune system, making it easier to prevent disease, decreased anxiety and depression and improving your ability to manage stress.
Even though you may be aware of the benefits of being kind to yourself, does not mean it is always easy to accomplish. Many people find it hard to have self-compassion. This may be because they spend so much of their time helping others, putting themselves at the bottom of the priority list.
The good news is that being kind to yourself can be done in small steps and is not as hard as it seems.
Below is a list of ideas you can start doing today to give you the kindness you deserve, from the person who means the most, YOU.
Commit to Self-Compass
It is easy to say you will start being kinder to yourself. Perhaps you then get distracted by life and before you realize, weeks have gone by without doing anything nice for yourself. You are still feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Being kind to yourself requires you make a commitment to implement the actions needed for self-improvement. This commitment requires follow-through to work. That means taking the time to focus on your needs.
That means not just saying “yes” to someone who is requesting your help. It means thinking, “is this best for me” first. If it is not good for you, learn to say “no”.
Politely Decline Requests
Everyone wants people to like them. This is how so many people get burned out and tired, because they say “yes” to activities that drain them to prevent someone from disliking them or thinking poorly of them.
Finding the right way to say “no” is important when being kinder to yourself. It is okay to come up with reasons as to why you cannot help on a project. It is okay to not give any reason at all.
It is even more okay to be honest and explain that your health is suffering because you have not given yourself the attention you deserve. You can explain you have met with a therapist who has advised you to slow down and avoid signing on to new projects. You can say you are working on getting better on asserting better self-care boundaries.
Then go see your therapist.
Get Help from a Therapist
Seeking help from a professional therapist is no longer taboo. There are many people seeking help from a therapist, including your friends, family and co-workers. Going to a therapist is a sign of strength, recognizing you cannot do it all alone, and asking for help.
You will be pleasantly surprised to learn how much a therapist can help you be kinder to yourself. They can teach you many self-compassionate actions to help you feel more positive about your body, your mind, and all other areas of your life.
They can help boost your self-esteem so that you realize you are worthy and deserving of a life filled with happiness. They can help you reverse those negative thoughts that keep you from feeling the opposite.
Reverse Negative Thinking
It is true, you are your own worst critic, this is true for most everyone. What you tell yourself is probably what will happen. For instance, if you tell yourself you cannot complete a project or activity, then you will not.
To be kinder to yourself, you must reverse negative thinking. Every time a negative thought enters your mind, stop and immediately replace that thought with a positive one. Shut down the negative thoughts as soon as possible or they will consume you.
Words have power, whether internal or external.
Stop Negative Talking
The words that you speak in private or public can define you. If you constantly speak poorly of yourself or someone else, people will remember you for that. Over time, you will be the person expected to talk negatively.
If you say negative things about yourself, even as a joke, you may eventually start to believe them. For example, if you call yourself overweight every time you are around girlfriends, you may start to believe you are overweight.
If you are overweight, that does not mean you automatically must start thinking negative thoughts. Instead, start talking about the things you are doing to better take care of yourself, including your weight.
Take Care of Your Health
Being kind to yourself means you make your mental and physical health a priority. Make an appointment with your doctor, your therapist, your pastor and anyone else who can help you determine if you are struggling mentally or physically.
It is easy to get caught up in your daily routine and put off dealing with those dull aches, crying spells, minor pains or having anxiety for no reason.
These are all signals that something is wrong.
They may seem minor to you right now, but they will grow and become unmanageable if not treated. Once you allow yourself to be treated and healed, you will notice many positive changes. You can begin to appreciate all the wonderful things happening in your life.
Being kinder to yourself means recognizing the great things you already have. Take time each day to be grateful. Keeping a gratitude journal or using a gratitude app on your smart phone is one way to do this.
Be grateful for the little things as well as the big accomplishments. Be thankful for the food you eat, the car you drive, the job you have and the people in your life.
The more you focus on being grateful, the less you will focus on the negative things happening in your life. Your thoughts and feelings will shift for the better, and your actions will become more positive as well.
Being grateful can be life changing.
Now that you know how to be kind to yourself, you are prepared to treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated.
Being kind to yourself is something you can start right now. Make the commitment to implement self-compassion. Start being mindful and take care of your health. Say something positive to yourself, like you deserve a great life, because you do!