Sometimes We Just Don't Feel Great About Things--So What Can Help?
Sometimes life can be hard, and we don’t feel good about ourselves. Things can just feel really heavy. Maybe you didn’t get a job you wanted, maybe you got in an argument with your partner and said hurtful things you feel guilty about, maybe you’re comparing yourself to others you think have something over you, or maybe you’ve been struggling for a long time with body image. Spiraling thoughts and painful emotions can be really hard to move through. Oof-da.
So what can help?
At this point the term has become a buzzword. It seems like it’s everywhere. And honestly, for good reason.
Self-compassion has a few components to it. Noticing and allowing our emotions to just be what they are, as they are; knowing that suffering is part of life and that all humans experience pain, although it may look different between us all from the outside; and kindness toward ourselves (Kristin Neff).
What could this look like in practice?
Let’s say you are running late to work for the 2nd time this month and your boss has told you that one more time will equal getting put on probation. A common response is to get completely stuck in our thoughts berating ourselves and ruminating about how we got ourselves in this situation, why are we like this, other people seem to have it easier, etc. But what if we respond in a different way?
-Acknowledge what you’re feeling and recognize there’s probably a reason for why you are struggling with being late (you’re not choosing to be late for fun, there is a reason for it)
-Recognize that you aren’t the only one who’s been late and been in the position to have consequences for it at work. And you are definitely not alone in feeling whatever it is you are feeling about the situation, I promise.
-Be kind to yourself. Maybe take a breath, notice what you’re experiencing in the present moment through the 5 senses, and practice saying to yourself what you might say to someone you love if they were hurting.
Self-compassion is a practice. Likely it won’t fix things for you, definitely not at first. But it can create space to feel better over time, and eventually help in the moment of stress when we need it most.
What do you need some self-compassion for today?