Being compassionate with yourself means accepting yourself as imperfect, which helps you to be kinder and more compassionate with others.
On average, the adult brain produces 70,000 thoughts a day, but does not pay the same amount of attention to all of them. The brain is naturally designed to look for threats, save itself from the dangers of others and protect others as well; this makes it seek out the bad aspects of all the information it processes and become attached more to negative events and feelings rather than positive ones. In order to counterbalance this natural tendency, as the Mayo Clinic states on its webpage, researcher Kristin D. Neff recommends being intentional about putting in the effort to embrace being kind to yourself.
- Be kind to yourself with your own suffering: Talking to yourself in a positive way during hard times can make you more resilient and capable of taking on new goals.
- Recognize that you are human: Understanding that we all suffer and experience problems will help you recognize that you are not alone in times of adversity. This will help you be more compassionate with others.
- Practice mindfulness: Nowadays it is easy to distract negative thoughts with music, cell phones, and alcohol, etc. Try to avoid these and recognize you are struggling without being judgmental – this is the only way you can be more accepting.