By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern
“I should have…”
“I could have…”
”Why didn’t I…”
We question our choices and often critique our actions in a harsher manner than other’s same decisions. It isn’t always easy to treat ourselves in a kind manner and instead dwell on our mistakes. Self-compassion takes practice and can help distinguish between making bad choices and being a bad person. A few steps to help us on our journey to being self-compassionate include mindfulness, kindness, and understanding our imperfections.
Mindfulness is essentially focusing our awareness on the presents moment and acknowledging the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of that moment. It can be difficult to sit in our feelings in the times of pain as we don’t want to feel such uncomfortable emotions but fix or change them to feel better. However, if we are being mindful, we can understand why we took certain actions and feel that way, providing opportunity for growth and change. Mindfulness can help us be aware of these areas for growth without making such harsh judgements on ourselves.
In this attempt to not judge, we can acknowledge to struggles everyone has as a basic function of humanity. Instead of being critical, we are able to understand that, despite what we see on the internet, everyone lives and imperfect life. It is unrealistic to assume that there is anyone that is without pain, sadness, or mistakes. Again, we are all human. With kindness, self-kindness to be exact, we can forgive ourselves for these mistakes and avoid blaming ourselves for experiencing the pain or struggle. It is good to acknowledge that we are not perfect, and we should not feel defeated after our mistakes.
We are not bad because we made a bad decision. Be mindful. Understand we all make mistakes. Forgive. If you are interested in exercises to help better understand self-compassion, consider exploring these exercises by Dr. Kristen Neff.
If you would like to learn more about how to be more self-compassionate and understand the impact that your thoughts, feelings, and emotions may be having on your life, counseling can help.
Reach out to Owens & Associates at (847) 854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.