You probably remember the age old lesson – treat others how you want to be treated. Meaning, be compassionate towards others, show them respect, and most of all – be kind. But how are YOU treating YOU? Are you treating yourself with the love and respect you deserve?
Research has shown that there is a positive correlation between psychological well-being and self-compassion. Those with self-compassion also experience greater social connection, higher emotional intelligence, greater happiness, and greater life satisfaction. That being so, why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we feel guilty when we don’t live up to our expectations? Why do we always dwell on our mistakes and shortcomings? Being the type-A person that I am, this is a personal battle I tend to face. However, there are ways to combat this dilemma
1. Practice Mindfulness
In a state of self-criticism? It’s usually because we got carried away by the negative voice in our heads (i.e. You’re never going to pass this class, You always say stupid things, etc.) Mindfulness can hush those voices. Becoming aware of the “inner critic” may be helpful. When you hear yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop, observe your thoughts, and then change them.
2. Give Yourself Permission
The next step is to acknowledge that it’s OKAY not to be perfect. Our imperfections don’t define us or our worth. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Acknowledge how you are feeling and then let it go.
3. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
There’s always going to be someone who’s smarter, cooler, wealthier, etc. than you. By comparing yourself to others, you set yourself up for negativity.
4. Change the Narrative
When you feel yourself engaging in negative self-talk, change your narrative. Rewrite the story. Start making of this list of the things you appreciate about yourself and reframe your thoughts. Don’t let the negativity sink in. Long story short, don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend. You deserve it.
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from psychologytoday.com