Self compassion

I’m just doing a quick survey to find out who says loving things to themselves inside their head 24/7? Anyone? Anyone?! Yep, us crazy humans are pretty hard on ourselves.

These days it’s relatively easy to learn what we should eat, how we should exercise, ways to sustain our physical health, but we still have very little knowledge or guidance on how to be well in our mind. Since the start of 2020, stress has taken on a whole new meaning and finding a way to navigate the negative thoughts in our heads has become even more important. 

At a recent Red Tent Circle we talked about the ground breaking work of Dr Kristen Neff on self compassion. I’d highly recommend her TedTalk and the brilliant exercises she shares that can help us build up a practice of self compassion.

Dr Neff says that self compassion is not a way of judging ourselves positively, it’s a way of relating to ourselves kindly, embracing ourselves as we are: flaws and all. She says self compassion has three parts – self-kindness; recognising our place in the shared, imperfect human experience; and mindfulness. 

Research shows that self compassion benefits every part of our health – our mental wellbeing, increased heart rate variability and reduced inflammation. So there’s lots of reasons we need to dabble in this self compassion malarkey and here are some ways we can be kinder to ourselves:

  • Tracking your cycle – acknowledging your cyclical nature is the ultimate act of kindness
  • Positive self talk – speak to yourself the way you speak to someone you love
  • Giving yourself an encouraging word – “oh I did that well” or “every day I’m learning and getting better”
  • Congratulate yourself at the end of the day as you lay down to sleep, rather than making lists of things you didn’t do

Every day we need to work on turning down the volume of your inner critic and cranking up the self love. We talk about this a lot during my 6-week live course Embrace Your Cyclical Power. If you want to discover the ways to bring more self love into our life that feels authentic and do-able, plus learn how to have better periods and moods, you need to join Embrace Your Cyclical Power

“PMS kind of switched me into a Mr Hyde every month and I was very upset about it - I felt I was fighting a losing battle of self-control. Now I have learned to be kinder to myself and I can handle PMS and perimenopause much better”.

Christel Ong, Massage Therapist, Singapore