It is often much easier to feel compassion for someone else than it is to feel compassion for ourselves. We tend to be our own worst critics, and judge ourselves harshly when we don’t measure up to our own standards.
Although it may seem like self-criticism will help us learn and do better next time, studies have shown that judgemental thoughts of ourselves are often counterproductive. Instead, self-compassion has been shown to be the most effective way to make progress and feel good in the process.
Self compassion does not always come naturally. It is a skill that must be practiced in order for it to come instinctively and intuitively. Luckly, the more often you are kind and forgiving toward yourself, the easier it becomes.
Here are 10 benefits of practicing self compassion.
- More peace. When we are simply aware of our experiences and our pain without judging them as right or wrong, we can begin to develop more acceptance of ourselves and our situation, leading to more inner peace.
- Increased appreciation of self. By identifying our core motivations, we can build appreciation for ourselves and understand that in any scenario, we are always doing our best.
- Less loneliness. By practicing self compassion, we realize that we are not alone in our suffering and feel more connected to those around us.
- Lower blood pressure. Being self-critical and angry toward ourselves can increase cortisol and blood pressure in our systems.
- Better sleep. You will sleep more soundly and easily if judgemental thoughts aren’t keeping you awake at night.
- More resilience. We are more likely to bounce back from a difficult situation when we forgive ourselves and don’t beat ourselves up about our mistakes.
- Healthier habits. When criticism and judgement take the driver’s seat of our psyche and are unregulated by self-compassion and kindness, we can develop unhealthy habits and mindsets.
- Better relationships. When we are critical of ourselves, we tend to be critical of others as well. Practicing more self compassion will help us be kinder to those we care about, improving our close relationships.
- More progress. Being kinder to ourselves can actually help us learn from our mistakes and integrate important life lessons. When we don’t associate our mistakes with self loathing, but rather self appreciation, we begin to release our fear of failure which can lead to healthy risk taking and long-term success.
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