SELF-KINDNESS: YOU MATTER FOR YOU
Self-kindness is to reassure that you are valuable and great in every phase of life. It is a learnable attitude. There are several ways and methods for developing and nurturing this attitude.
Close your eyes and ask yourself these questions: How much are you caring, loving, patient, nonjudgmental, and open-hearted to yourself? When you make a mistake or not be able to achieve your goal, then how you treat yourself? Or in other words, are you “kind to yourself” when you emotionally suffer or fail? Yes, I am talking about “self-kindness”. We take it worthy of being nice and kind to others, but hardly consider these in terms of ourselves. Self-kindness is a comforting and caring response to yourself just like a ‘dear friend’ in the emotional crises, pain, and suffering, but here that ‘dear friend’ is ‘you’ to yourself. It also involves being tolerant, supportive, and forgiving towards your flaws and mistakes.
Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher, has discussed the concept of self-kindness in a detail under the concept of self-compassion in her researches. According to her, it is an attitude that can be developed and it allows a person to see his/ her failure and emotional pain with understanding, warmth, and sympathy.
Here are a few points to understand the meaning of self-kindness in a simple way
• It is an acceptance of us for ourselves.
• It is not a matter of perfection; but its about betterment.
• It’s about considering you a human and being gentle towards yourself in your thoughts, actions, feelings, and behaviors.
• And most important, it’s about showing love and forgiveness to you for your flaws and mistakes.
So being self-kind means kind to you in terms of emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Physical and mental benefits of self-kindness
Different researches have been conducted in the field of psychology to study the relationship between self-kindness and physical/mental health. Results show that if you are kind to yourself it has multiple positive impacts on your body and your mind as well. A person who tends to be kind to his/ her self has a strong immunity to fight against the diseases as “self-compassion exercises calm the heart rate”, "switching-off the body's threat response", and the ability of this response may “reduce the risk of illness”. Self-kindness is important for the body in “healing and regeneration.”
Similarly, a Self-kind person tends to be less hurt and panic in a difficult situation such as embarrassment and breakdown as compared to that person who is self criticized. Because self-kindness allows you to maintain an objective viewpoint when you face situations, you see things with positivity rather than negativity. You don’t dwell in self-pitying that’s why a self-kind person is less stressed and panic in facing uncertain sufferings of life.
How to be a self-kind person.
Some people have this skill naturally, but not everyone has, self-kindness is a learnable attitude. It is something that you can practice daily. There are several ways and methods for developing and nurturing this attitude.
• Don’t suppress your feelings
A breakup with a lover, a loss in business, a jobless phase, a bad performance in a presentation, or any suffering situation that causes pain for you, if you cry over it, it’s okay, it’s natural. There is nothing awful to cry over a hurting situation. Crying is stress relieving and a person usually feels a bit better after it. Don’t suppress your feelings if you feel not good about yourself and your life. Let yourself feel what you are feeling. Convey your all emotions on a piece of paper, write what you are suffering from, and want to change. This act of self-kindness will help you in healing by allowing you to understand more about your emotions. It will help you in overcoming your suffering stress.
Sometimes we opt for different distractions for avoiding feelings of what we are going through. Such as shopping, eating, drinking and drugs are unhealthy and frustrated attempts of avoiding sadness, pain, and discomfort. These distractions are not the solution to any suffering. Look at what's inside you and embrace it with kindness, you are your best friend, you can understand yourself better than anyone else, listen to your emotions as a friend and console them just like a friend does. Don’t take the escape or distraction for deadening your feelings. Allow yourself to accept your emotions.
• Learn to forgive yourself
Accept this thing that we are humans and if we make mistakes, then it’s not a positive way to blame ourselves for failures and mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself and avoid self-criticism.
• Deal your life with patience
Accept those realities, you cannot change them today. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and give up the things that are not in your control and wait for the right time to make it happen. Understand this, all days are not the same, some are better for your side and some are not. Some days you feel motivated and focused and some days things tend to go adverse. Deal with daily life’s challenges with patience, whether it is about learning something new, or taking a start again.
• Avoid difficult people
If you have such kind of people in your circle who are continuously unjust, abusive, angry, hurtful, and manipulative towards you for no excuse and all this is affecting your dignity and peace of mind then simply change your circle. Try to avoid toxic people as maximum as you can.
• Encourage yourself
When you come to know that your friend is going through any suffering, then what would you do, obviously as a good friend, you would boost his/her morals through motivational talks so that he/she could face that situation without losing hope. Same in the way, you need your motivations for tackling difficult phases of life. Encourage yourself through positive self-talk.
• Be thankful for what you have
Think about what blessings and good things you have in your life. Acknowledge your qualities and write at least five positive things about yourself daily. This practice helps in developing a positive attitude towards every situation of life.
• Praise and cheers on what you achieve.
This is an important step. Whether your achievement is big or small, always acknowledge it. Appreciate yourself on your little steps and celebrate your small accomplishments.
• Allow yourself to bloom
Embrace the things in your life that make you feel alive. Whether it is self-care or a healthy relationship with the people you love. It can be related to any creativity or any professional activity. Whatever it is, allow yourself to bloom.
Self-kindness is all about showing yourself that “you matter”. It reassures you that you are valuable and great in every phase of life. If you are kind to yourself in any situation, it would not let your confidence down. Self-kindness tends to keep your emotions, balance and gives you inner peace. It allows you to see the positive side of any situation by recognizing blessings instead of shortcomings and mistakes.