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How To Be Kind To Your Mind & Embrace Self-Compassion

Written by: Kamini Wood, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Kamini Wood

When we constantly criticize ourselves, we send negative messages to our subconscious, which in turn affects our feelings, perspectives, behaviors, and choices.

Woman standing in green field

In other words, if you want to improve your life and health, you need to be kind to your mind and embrace self-compassion.


Learning to treat yourself with self-compassion may benefit your life in various ways. Being kind to oneself, for example, can improve your capacity to deal with stress, build resilience, and promote self-esteem. In addition, it can help you quiet your inner critic and become more forgiving of yourself.


How does negativity affect us physically and emotionally?


Negativity is like a massive tide that may sweep you away in an instant if you are not careful. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t take more than one or two critical thoughts about yourself to start a downward spiral of self-contempt and self-criticism.


This way of being can result in irritability, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drug abuse, and various other mental health problems.


In addition, prolonged stress brought on by negativity throws off the body’s hormone balance, negatively impacting our immune system. Long-term stress happens when your body can’t recover from repeated external or internal stressors.


When you are under chronic stress, your body constantly produces cortisol. This creates a stress imbalance, depleting your coping resources and making you more susceptible to various health issues, including infections, aches, pains, digestive problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc.


Why we tend to be harsher on ourselves than others


It’s in our nature to strive to be the best versions of ourselves. As a result, we frequently have unreasonable expectations of ourselves. When we fail to meet the high standards we set for ourselves, we tend to feel undeserving of love and respect, punishing ourselves with harsh self-criticism.


Also, those raised by criticizing parents or caregivers who rarely or never praised them are more likely to develop unhealthy perfectionism, people-pleasing tendencies, and low self-esteem as adults.


What is self-compassion & what does it entail


Self-compassion is a crucial component of self-care and entails the same compassion, kindness, care, and understanding that you usually extend to those you care about.


According to Kristin Neff, a pioneer in self-compassion research, self-compassion entails three central components:


Self-kindness, as opposed to self-judgment, is the practice of treating yourself with the same care and support you would give to anyone you care about.


Common humanity, as opposed to isolation, means knowing that you are not the only one with flaws or pain.


Mindfulness, as opposed to over-identification, is paying full attention to your feelings without pushing them down or letting them take over.


Why is self-compassion crucial in our lives?


Mindful self-compassion involves having a consistent attitude of kindness and acceptance toward oneself. This is based on the idea that being human means having flaws and that we deserve the same compassion and understanding we show others.


Self-compassion allows you to be kind to your mind, helps you forgive yourself and heal, and increases your happiness.


12 Ways to be kind to your mind & embrace self-compassion


Try these 12 strategies to be kind with your thoughts, cultivate self-compassion, and embrace your best self.


1. Learn to advocate for yourself


Standing up for yourself is a sign of self-care, not selfishness. Learn to express your needs, feelings, and concerns assertively yet firmly.


2. Treat yourself


Self-rewarding and treating yourself can be a strong external motivator that makes you feel more confident, thankful, and happy. Whether getting a massage after a long day at work or going out to lunch with friends, little treats can make you feel good. Giving yourself little rewards can make you feel more hopeful and ready to be kind to your mind.


3. Confront difficult feelings and emotions


Focus your attention on your feelings of shame, anger, and guilt. By noticing the thoughts that make you beat up on yourself without judging them, you will start to understand yourself instead of blaming yourself.


4. Recognize your achievements and successes


Keeping a journal can be a great way to pay attention to your achievements and become more aware of your successes. This will boost your confidence and sense of self-worth.


5. Take care of your physical body


Know your body’s needs and take time to take care about them. Do yoga, exercise, walk, eat well, and stay hydrated.


6. Sleep, sleep, sleep


A good night’s sleep can help you become healthier, happier, more relaxed, and more productive.


7. Take time off when you need


Make sure to find a good balance between your life, your work, and your family responsibilities. There’s a good reason to take a break, so don’t feel bad about it.


8. Embrace self-forgiveness


Leave the past where it belongs, and stop feeling bad about things you did. Instead, use them to help you grow.


9. Share kindness with others


Treating others with the kindness you want for yourself is an excellent way to inspire self-compassion. Also, treating others with empathy and consideration significantly boosts self-esteem.


10. Set goals, but allow yourself to fail (Or find a new path along the way)


Remember that “a goal is a dream with a deadline.” Set your goals, but make sure they are attainable. If you fail, congratulate yourself on your efforts and consider alternative ways to achieve your aspirations. The other route may take longer, but you will get there.


11. Let go of the idea of perfection


Unhealthy perfectionism leads to harsh self-criticism, fear of failure, stress, and unhappiness. So, go easy on yourself and let go of the need to be the best at any cost.


12. Go on a meditative walk


We’ve known for a long time that spending time in nature is beneficial for our mental and physical health. For example, a mindful nature walk can help you think more clearly, distract you from negative thoughts, and improve your mood.


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Kamini Wood Brainz Magazine
 

Kamini Wood, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kamini Wood is the founder and CEO of Live Joy Your Way and the AuthenticMe® RiseUp program. An international best-selling author Kamini is driven to support people of all ages to heal their relationship with themselves and to stop outsourcing their self-worth. As a result, her clients become their own confident, resilient self-leader with healthier relationships. Kamini is a certified life coach, board-certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, holds specialty certifications in Calling in the One®, Conscious Uncoupling®, NewMoney Story®, and teen life coaching. Also trained in conscious parenting, Kamini aims to meet her clients where they are, supporting and guiding them on their journey to where they want to be, both personally and professionally. Her mission: create space for each person to see the unique gifts they bring to this world.

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