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Self-love is a term that’s batted around often, particularly in the ‘self-help’ world. It makes some people feel uncomfortable and simply confuses others. It’s a concept that is often confused with arrogance or self-obsession. Yet, despite the confusion, there is a sense that this unfamiliar way of being may offer some relief from the harsh cries of self-criticism and self-depleting thoughts.
Well, studies have shown that what they refer to as self-compassion, can indeed have a profound effect on our life experiences. Self-compassion relates to a feeling of kindness and holding negative aspects of ourselves more mindfully. It involves recognising our humanness and understanding that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person.
People who are compassionate towards themselves have greater emotional resilience. Self-compassion can reduce anxiety and depression and help us navigate difficult circumstances with greater ease. It’s for this reason that we’d recommend trying to see through the lens of self-compassion whenever you notice negative self-talk. This small change may offer new perspectives to old problems. The tips below should help you to boost the levels of self-love in your life.
Mindfulness can help us to pay more attention to our inner self-talk. Paying attention to thoughts as they arise helps us to notice when negative narratives have taken over. Mindfulness involves approaching these situations with openness and curiosity rather than reactivity. Meditating can help you take your mind off the tracks, calm your worries, and regain control emotionally.
The mind and body are connected. When we’re distressed emotionally and mentally, it has physical implications too. Stress triggers our fight or flight response, releasing adrenaline and cortisol around the body. Long-term stress like this can affect the heart, immune system, and digestive system, leading to an increased risk of major health conditions later down the line.
Self care can help cultivate feelings of self-compassion and release tension in the body. Make sure you choose something that makes you feel relaxed and happy. It could be a bath, a walk, listening to music or reading a book. This time for you offers a chance to relax, reconnect and remember that you are only human.
When things don’t go to plan we can be extremely hard on ourselves and say things that we’d never say to a friend. Taking responsibility for our actions is a good thing, but there’s a difference between making a mistake and believing that you are a bad person. That’s why it’s important to challenge critical self-talk when it arises and reframe these thoughts in a positive way. When it comes to others, you understand that they make mistakes and you’re likely to be more patient and supportive with their needs. Try to adopt this approach when things don’t go the way you planned, it can help boost resilience and strength during difficult times.
If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact the Health Assured 24/7 confidential helpline.
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