I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-compassion. Positive or negative thoughts affect us greatly and the impact they have carry on much longer than the time it takes to have the thought. When we’re critical of ourselves, it affects our whole mood and sets up a runaway train of “stinking thinking”.
Admittedly, we are always our own worst critics.
Being so hyper-critical of ourselves does many things, none of which are good for our self-esteem. I know I’m my own worst critic and it affects me long after the words have left my mouth. Not only does it affect me personally, my work suffers as well as I’m too wrapped up in my own narcissism to think of much else.
I’m over it.
The nice thing is, I’m also self-aware and know how this is affecting me and how lack of self-compassion affects those around me. So, what is it we do? Well, I sat down and made a list.
1. Compliment Yourself. Look in the mirror. The only face looking back at you is yours. Say something nice to yourself. It will make you feel better. If your day is getting you down, take a break and go back to the mirror.
2. What’s positive? Make a list of what you love that is all about you. Tuck it in your wallet, put it in your purse, or place it where you will see it every single day.
3. It’s the little things. The little things count. Do the little things for you.
4. Count your blessings. Whether they are small or large, they count. And when we count them, our cup run over with gratitude for those little blessings.
5. Discover your Extrovert. I’m a former introvert who’s turned into an extrovert with a deep desire for solitude. However, when I’m surrounded by people, talking and enjoying myself, I forget about the little things and enjoy life.
6. Find your zen. Whether it be attending Church services, meditation, or a long soak in the tub. Anything that will help you reconnect with your inner self and quiet your mind is perfect for finding self-compassion.
7. Take ten. Do you react or do you assess? Instead of reacting instantly, step-back, take 10 minutes and look at the situation again. During that ten minutes, take a short walk, do some breathing exercises, or tell them you’ll get back to them later after you’ve had time to think about the situation. It’s great for work issues or homework issues with tweens. (Work is the easier one to deal with!)
I’ve started a “stinking thinking” jar at home. Right now it’s empty. However, I have a few weeks where I’m going to be slammed with work and other daily life issues and I’ll need to be on my toes. And I suspect I’ll do some of my own stinking thinking, criticizing myself needlessly. Each and every time I do something like that, I have to put a dollar in the jar.
What are my goals?
The money in the jar is for me to do something nice for myself, to tell me I’m worthy. I’m also a big fan of pedicures. However, I’ll use the money for a manicure. Every time I look down at my hands, it will be a reminder that I need to be good to me.