Monday, March 21, 2011

Give yourself a compassion break

I read an article on this last week and its been on my mind since.
Do you treat everyone else better than you treat yourself?
Do you ensure that others eat the right things while you do not monitor your own nutritional intake?
I know that I had to admit that I cut others a lot more slack than I do myself.  I am the first person to tell someone who is feeling overwhelmed that they need to take a break, yet I will keep pushing myself even though I know I am on the edge.
Why?  Why do we do this to ourselves yet show others such kindness?
I'm not sure why it has taken researchers so long to start looking into this but it is no longer a neglected area.
There are books and websites and articles all dedicated to the topic.
Here is a self assessment link
The person who created that assessment, Kristin Neff, is a pioneer in the field, and shares information on her site.
The people most likely to score low on the self-compassion tests are those who are most likely to be supportive and understanding to others.
Research shows that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health.  People that score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. 
Self-compassion contributes positively to motivation, with self-compassion you do what's healthy for you rather than what's harmful to you.
So what can you do to improve your self-compassion?
Here are a few tips:
  • List yur best and worst traits, reminding yourself that nobody is perfect
  • Think of steps you might take to help feel better about yourself
  • Take mediation and "compassion breaks," which involve repeating mantras like "I'm going to be kind to myself in this moment."

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