Three Steps to Self-Compassion

First: Make the choice that you’ll at least try a new approach to thinking about yourself. Commit to treating yourself more kindly — call it letting go of self-judgment, going easier on yourself, practicing self-compassion or whatever resonates most…

…One of the most portable and evidence-based practices for noticing our thoughts and learning to let them go is meditation. Try mindfulness meditation, which involves anchoring your attention on the breath as a tool to stay present without getting lost in judgments, stories and assumptions…

…You can also interrupt the spiral of negative self-talk by focusing your energy on something external that you care about, which can help you establish perspective and a sense of meaning beyond yourself.

The second step to self-compassion is to meet your criticism with kindness. If your inner critic says, “You’re lazy and worthless,” respond with a reminder: “You’re doing your best” or “We all make mistakes.”

But it’s step three, according to Dr. Brewer, that is most important if you want to make the shift sustainable in the long term: Make a deliberate, conscious effort to recognize the difference between how you feel when caught up in self-criticism, and how you feel when you can let go of it”

—Charlotte Leiberman, “Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself.” The New York Times. May 22, 2018.

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