What does "be kind to yourself" actually mean? For those who find this concept a bit mysterious, let's look at how to put self-compassion into practice.
Let’s put self-kindness into practice!
But what does it actually mean? Having a bubble bath? Suppressing that self-critical voice?
For those who find this concept a bit mysterious, let’s look at how to put self-compassion into practice!
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is a loving and caring feeling that arises in response to our own suffering. It reduces our ‘threat’ system and stress hormones and activates the systems associated with love and bonding. This increases feelings of safety, security, and connectedness. Long-term, this has benefits for mental health issues and stress. Kristin Neff has written and taught extensively on self-compassion and put a real spotlight on applying it in everyday life. In practice, it has three elements:
We mentioned self-compassion is a response to our own suffering. This means we have to be present to some extent with our suffering for the feelings of compassion to arise. That’s where a mindful attitude comes in. It helps us observe the pain without resisting it or letting it become the whole story of who we are.
- Recognising the common humanity of pain and suffering:
Often when we suffer, we feel isolated, feeling that we are the only ones to make mistakes, fail, or feel pain. Recognising our common humanity means acknowledging it is human to suffer. This increases feelings of connectedness and reduces self-criticism.
- Kindness to self:
When times are tough, we often criticise or berate ourselves. Self-kindness is treating ourselves in a way that is kind, supportive, and caring. Imagine your response when a friend is suffering. Chances are you say kind words or offer some help. Self-kindness is applying this response to ourselves too.
There’s a starter for you - if you’re keen to know more see this additional info about self-kindness.
And if chocolate is a self-care go-to for you, why not order a treat from Super Sprinkle, and know that $5 from every order goes to supporting SANE Australia’s much-needed services!
If you feel like you need some additional help or advice, for all of October you'll have free access to SANE's 'best in class' 1 to 1 Wellbeing Check-in - a 25-minute mental health check-in and chat with a professional Peer Support Worker, completely anonymous and confidential, at a time that suits you.
This free Wellbeing Check-in is available exclusively to International Towers community members in Tower Two, Tower Three or International House.
Log in or Register to our Partner Portal to book your free check-in.
Mental Health Month encourages us all to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have a lived experience of mental ill-health or not. We're incredibly proud and excited to partner with SANE Australia, a national charity helping people live long and fulfilling lives, free from stigma and discrimination. They support anyone affected by mental health issues, including family and friends, through information and stories, peer support, and counselling.