Ahhh... Self compassion. Sounds so nice (in theory) right? If we could all just love ourselves what a glorious world it would be! But more often than not, it is easier said than done (especially if you're an obsessive compulsive perfectionist like myself).
It's hard to be nice to ourselves!
As people we can be mean, it happens. But how mean we are to others pales in comparison to how cruel we can be towards ourselves.
Luckily, like any skill, self compassion can be practiced and mastered! These real life exercises will help you easily practice more self compassion throughout your day.
1. What would someone who loves themselves do?
This is a very profound and effective technique I learned from Teal Swan, The Spiritual Catalyst. Every time you go to make a decision throughout your day simply ask yourself this one simple question, "What would someone who loves themselves do?" and then do that! #thatwaseasy
It's a great technique because it allows you to tap into the guidance of your intuition, which always knows exactly what you need in any given moment. So, for example, if you're deciding what to eat for dinner you could ask yourself, "What would someone who loves themselves do?" and then whatever comes to mind first is exactly what your body needs in that moment. Or if you're deciding between taking a nap or doing more work, your first instinct may be to take a nap, so you should do that. Always trust your intuition.
Listen to and honor your intuition as an act of self compassion. Tweet It
2. Baby Yourself
When you see a little toddler fall after clumsily running around for the first time you don't say, "Get up stupid! You suck at running. You'll never succeed in life." Of course not! So why do you talk to yourself like that?!
Self talk is a powerful thing, for better or for worse. If one person is gonna support you it should be yourself. When you show up for yourself the Universe shows up for you too. So next time you mess up (by your high standards) talk to yourself with the same tender care and compassion you would a small child. Soothe and comfort yourself.
After all, you are doing the best you can. That's all you can ask of yourself. As much as I dislike the expression "you're only human" (because you are so much more)... you are technically a human and humans make mistakes. No need to beat up on yourself for it.
3. Yoga it out
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) is not just one of most fun Sanskrit words to say, but is a great, restorative yoga posture you can practice when you need to take it easy on yourself.
Simply lie down on your back with your feet touching and knees flopped open (so your legs are making a diamond shape on the ground). Once you get comfortable there, place your dominant hand on your heart and the other hand on your stomach. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, feel your pulse in one hand and the rise and fall of your breath in the other.
The most powerful part of this posture is placing your hand on your heart. As soon as you tap into your pulse you will automatically become calm and enter a state of appreciation for yourself. It's hard to hate on yourself when you're realizing your own magnificence. I mean, do you ever stop to think about how your heart is just always beating itself?! That's a miracle if I ever knew one.
You are a miracle. Start treating yourself like one.
4. F IS FOR FORGIVENESS
Hands down the most powerful way to practice self compassion is simply to forgive yourself. Every time you think a "wrong" thought or do a "wrong" deed immediately just notice it, forgive yourself, and start over.
Say this statement to yourself. "I forgive myself for __________."
I forgive myself for that thought. I forgive myself for that action. I forgive myself for the past, present, and future.
I forgive myself.
See? Doesn't that feel better?
Everybody deserves forgiveness. Including you!
Start incorporating these simple practices into your every day life and you'll be surprised how nice you can be to yourself after a little bit of practice. I'd love to hear which technique for self compassion is your favorite on the list in the comments!
Do you have any special ways you like to practice compassion towards yourself? I'd love to hear about that too.