Five Strategies To Boost Your Self-Compassion
You are your best friend. Each day. Every day.
Be your best friend every day. Choose self-love over self-doubt each day. In this article, I will talk about — Self-Love? Five strategies to boost your self-compassion, self-care. And why I choose to write about it in this post. Further, listing the five strategies, I practice daily and the positive impact it has on my mental and physical wellbeing.
Please keep it simple. When life gets tough, pause, slow down and choose yourself, your inner happiness, and wellbeing over the outside chaos. “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity — Katrina Mayer”
Many of you might think self-love is hugging a tree in the forest or a spa day at your favorite salon, but self-love is much more and beyond. To love oneself is the purest, bravest thing. As Brianna Wiest puts it, “True self-care is not bath salts and chocolate cake; it’s choosing to build a life you don’t need to escape from.”
Many psychology studies attest self-love and self-compassion are essential for mental health and well-being, keeping depression and anxiety at bay. — Medical News Today
What Self Love Means
- It is being kind to yourself, on purpose, when it’s most arduous and when it’s easy.
- Take care of one’s mental and physical health even if the times are hard.
- Make tough decisions that are best for yourself, even if a more accessible alternative is available.
- Asking for help and letting others help you.
- Love your journey and appreciate life without hating or comparing it to other people’s lives.
Why am I Writing About Self-love?
As a child with dyslexia, it wasn’t straightforward for me to fit in at school or home. Being a middle child came with its challenges. Ironical, as I raise my daughter, specific childhood traumas have resurfaced. It’s inevitable to feel low and experience self-doubt.
To question my capabilities as a mother. I started dwelling on how my mother could have handled my situation differently. But one can only live in the past for so long. And I realized that I could not change what I experienced in my childhood but do things differently as a mother for my daughter.
So what did I do to change my circumstances?
- I choose to be my best friend. I understood that friendship with oneself is all-important because one cannot be friends with anyone else without it.
- I believe in keeping it simple. My mantra is to ‘Be the energy you want to attract.’ It’s not always easy. Self-care and self-compassion must be practiced.
- Remember, you are a unique being. I am inherently a positive person with an instinct to look at the bright side of the road. When life throws challenges, I spin the situation around and look for positivity and new opportunities.
And one way I’m taking charge of my present circumstances is by practicing these five self-love strategies to bring self-compassion and authenticity to my life and others around me.
Furthermore, I have also incorporated some of my favorite self-love quotes. They help uplift my spirit each day. I hope they add value and compassion to your day as well.
Are you excited to learn about the five self-love strategies?
Five Self-Love Strategies to Bring Self-Compassion and Authenticity
1. Keeping a journal
Keeping a daily journal helps me gain some distance from my thought patterns and observe how they affect me. Simply writing about my thoughts and emotions makes me feel light and allows me to unburden myself from negative thoughts. I keep a pocket diary in my handbag all the time. I write wherever and whenever I feel the need to express my thoughts.
It’s a cathartic process. My soul feels cleansed. — Simer Dhume
Another method I closely use and observe is how my sleep pattern and circadian rhythm affect my mood. This makes it easier to find constructive ways to deal with my thoughts and feelings. You might also try doing a page or two of positivity or gratitude exercises.
- Here’s a gratitude exercise you can follow
My mantra, each morning as I wake up, I start my day by giving thanks and expressing my gratitude to the sun god, stating five things (out loud) in life I’m grateful for. I am thankful for my daughter, a loving and supportive husband, my family’s health, food on our table, and unconditional love.
“Studies show that specific brain areas are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates the expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude. — Psychology Today.”
“The right mental attitude will guide you towards feeling a sense of love that you deserve to experience.” — Anonymous.
2. Getting Enough Exercise
Did you know? Getting enough exercise significantly impacts mood. For me, it is an excellent way of self-care and self-love.
As an ex-college tennis player, I was introduced to fitness and athleticism early on. Playing tennis, running, biking, and swimming has always given me immense happiness.
But during my tough days, I find it very calming to go for simple walks in the neighborhood park. Or practice slow vinyasa flow yoga in my green space at home. Especially since the coronavirus outbreak, which has changed our lives, hikes and yoga has been the go-to exercises. There are many online yoga videos that you can consult and find out what kind of yoga you like to practice. Here’s a link to a slow vinyasa flow yoga that I like to follow.
“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” — Osho
3. Practice Mindful Meditation
Mindfulness is awareness without criticism. As Jan Chozen Bays put it, “Mindfulness is deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you– in your body, heart, and mind.”
It is important to note — Meditation is a technique you teach yourself and requires practice and showing up on your yoga mat each day. A mental exercise in which you learn to train your attention and awareness. It is a constant battle to curb your mind from reacting to negative and instead nudging it towards more pleasant feelings and positive thoughts.
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Practicing mindfulness meditation over time has helped in reducing —
- Chronic stress. I feel less shattered and dwell less on my childhood experiences.
- Regulate afflictive emotions. I’m able to have a healthy relationship with my mother.
- I feel more connected with my intuition. It helps me calmly work through problems.
- Mindfulness practice helps you see your life in a new light. What previously seemed impossible becomes manageable, and what felt hopeless becomes merely tricky. In short, mindfulness helps me feel good inside out.
“Mindfulness allows us to live life fully. Fully aware, fully awake, fully alive.” -@Headspace, #mindfulmoments
4. Engage in positive self-talk
This is key. We often don’t realize how frequently we engage in self-talk. Research in WebMD shows that “It’s more common for people to talk to themselves than not. According to one study, 96% of adults say they have an internal dialogue. While self-talk out loud is less common, 25% of the adults say they do it.”
Paying attention to your self-talk can help improve your relationship with yourself.
- How do I work on positive self-talk?
It is impossible not to engage in negative thoughts from time to time. Ideas like, “It’s all my fault,” “I will never be good enough,” and other unkind things we say to ourselves repeatedly consume our conscious. I consciously watch out for self-blame or any negative talk about myself in my internal dialogue. The moment I realize I’m engaging in a damaging discussion, I replace it with positive thoughts, saying things like, “I love you,” “You’ve got this,” and “Everything is going to be okay.”
Over time, active self-talk has helped me overwrite negative mental habits with healthier ones so that I feel loved and supported from the inside out.
- The real challenge?
“The real difficulty in self-love is combatting the inner critic who goes against our wishes by challenging our own beliefs. You know you’re worthy of love, but the critic keeps reminding you of the past pain that you can’t let go of.” — Anonymous.
“Talk to yourself like someone you love.” — Brene Brow. n
5. Lean into your uniqueness
I love this exercise. Leaning into your uniqueness is another way to love yourself and care for yourself. We all have unique facets of our identity that may have been a struggle in the past. Whether it has to do with gender or sexuality, socioeconomic status, or race and ethnicity, the experience of being different may have left behind feelings of being less valued or appreciated.
In my case, I had a learning disorder — dyslexia that made me feel insufficient among my peers at school. I experienced low self-esteem and lack of confidence most time.
But discovering my true passion and talents — one of them being a writer has helped me love myself and appreciate myself and the people around me. As we learn to love those parts of ourselves that do not fit into the mainstream, we simultaneously help ourselves and lift communities.
“Seek to be whole, not perfect.” — Oprah
Love yourself. Choose yourself over others. Celebrate yourself each day. You are a unique and beautiful individual. We often spend all our life loving and caring for our family and friends. We must relearn and teach ourselves self-love, self-care, and self-compassion. Use these five self-love strategies and see if it works for you the way it has helped me.
I’ll be sharing more personal development stories on self-care, self-compassion, mindfulness. Stay tuned.
I am unique. I am loved. I am my best friend. — Simer Dhume