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The Power of Self Compassion

Julia Montgomery

woman holding red heart, health insurance, donation charity conceptMost of us can be critical of ourselves from time to time. We may judge our performance, appearance, behavior, or personality. Feelings of guilt or shame may prompt us to reflect on something we said or did. Reflecting on behavior can be a healthy learning tool for changing behaviors we don’t like or don’t connect to within our value system. However, when reflection turns into reoccurring self-criticism it can take a toll on our mental health. Talking negatively to yourself or shaming yourself repeatedly can be just as detrimental as someone else doing it to you. Negative self-talk or thinking patterns can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

It is normal to make mistakes or engage in behaviors that elicit guilt or shame from time to time. Practicing self-compassion during these times can be a crucial skill that helps you learn from a mistake. Finding compassion for yourself during these moments will help you build resilience and have healthy self-esteem.

Look at the below tips for practicing self-compassion:

  • Talk to yourself like you’d talk to friend struggling with a problem or difficult emotion
  • Accept yourself as you are
  • Validate your emotion
  • Think about how you’d want to speak to the 10-year-old version of you and do that.
    For example, we don’t want to tell a 10-year old they’re “terrible” for spelling a word wrong at the spelling bee because they didn’t study. We’d say, “You did the best you could in that moment given the situation.”
  • Acknowledge mistakes but remind yourself that you are human. If possible, you can make a plan to do things different in the future.
  • Remove judgments and absolutes. Be gentle with your language and stick to the facts instead
  • Use encouraging statements with yourself!
    Tell yourself “you are enough.”
  • Treat yourself the way you treat someone you love
  • Practice forgiving yourself for mistake and perceived flaws
  • Identify strengths you have and remind yourself of them. Balance your weaknesses with strengths.

If you or someone you love is struggling with reoccurring negative self-talk or thinking, we’re here to help. Consider making an appointment with The Summit Counseling Center by calling 678-893-5300 or via our website.

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