Weekly Mindful Journaling Challenge #4: Self-Compassion and Kindness

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Self-compassion yields a number of benefits, including lower levels of anxiety and depression. Self-compassionate people recognize when they are suffering and are kind to themselves at these times, which reduces their anxiety and related depression.
~ The Power of Self-Compassion – Harvard Health ~

We are our own self-critic and judge. Therefore, this week’s writing challenge is to focus on delving into ways an individual may begin to exercise a daily discipline of self care where they show kindness and compassion. Break free from the inner critic that plagues our thoughts and creates barriers to personal and spiritual growth. By focusing on how one is able to show kindness toward self is key to how we operate out of a sense of worth and power. According to Harvard’s Healthbeat showing self-compassion and kindness involves the following:

  • Self-compassion and showing kindness to ourselves is a holistic approach. It begins by paying attention to our overall physical and nutritional well-being. Eating healthy, resting, taking a walk, and any other self-care we engage in. This brings comfort to our bodies.
  • Daily mindful journaling is another form of compassion where we write out situations, interactions with others, and approach it from a more objective and compassionate mindset helps us process and manage strong emotions.
  • Be encouraging when things happen or failure occurs. If you were your own best friend, what might you say? Showing kindness and compassion means we understand and know ourselves intimately enough to provide encouraging words.
  • Establish and maintain a consistent and daily practice of mindfulness where we are observing our thoughts and feelings without any biased, prejudicial, and judgmental opinion (hence, quieting the inner critic).

Engaging in these practices on a daily basis may improve our ability to deepen and enrich our own overall health and wellness. By showing ourselves kindness and compassion we are able to manage stress, minimize depression and anxiety, and maintain healthy relationship with self and others. We become more empathetic and compassionate when it comes to our interpersonal relationships.

By focusing on how one is able to show kindness toward self is key to how we operate out of a sense of worth and power. #Mindfulness, #Kindness, #Compassion, #Self-Care, #Health, #Wellness

Developing Self-Compassion is Part of Self-Improvement and Growth

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Brigit Ohlin MA BBA provides 5 steps one may develop to overcome their own personal inner critic and judgments.

  1. Practice Forgiveness
  2. Employ a growth mindset
  3. Express Gratitude (see Week On Writing Challenge on Gratitude)
  4. Find the right level of generosity
  5. Be mindful

Ohlin observes:

In the long run, our subjective and self-critical perceptions of whether we live up to these values have an impact on our self-worth, which in turn determines whether the voices in our heads are kind and supportive or destructive and devaluing.

These five critical and important steps helps us move out of a mindset of failure, self-defeating attitude, and bring us toward a place of growth and finding a sense of fulfillment where we have meaning and purpose. All of this leads to a greater sense of self-awareness and transcendence. It is not up to others to show us compassion and kindness. What matters is how we forgive ourselves of those past mistakes we’ve made. Embracing adversity as opportunities to stretch and grow. Being ever thankful with who we are and what we have received as a gift to explore and nurture.

When we are engaged in self-compassion and kindness, we are able to understand and meet our own needs and then out of that, choose who we are willing to be generous toward. All while practice daily mindfulness and maintaining a healthy balance where we walk without judgment and criticism. This includes judgments and criticisms of self.

Focusing our energy helps us begin a process of gaining greater perspective of who we are as individuals, how we define our sense of meaning and purpose, and where we are able to be empowered to be of service. #Mindfulness, #Kindness, #Compassion, #Self-Care, #Health, #Wellness

Sadly, much of our energy is wasted on ruminating our own failures. This leads toward a more negative outlook of self. It even impacts how we behave and allow others to treat us. When we are not capable of treating ourselves with dignity and respect – with kindness and compassion – how are we to expect others to do the same?

Accept the reality of One’s Imperfections

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One of the proliferating aspects that influences our inner critic and judgments is the false sense of reality that we must be perfect. Albert Ellis developed the therapy approach of Reality Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He coined the three basic musts and one of them focuses on the irrational belief that one must do well and win the approval of others or else one is not good enough.

Inability to accept self, we fall prey to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and put ourselves down. Much of this is due to our inflexibility, unrealistic expectation of self, others, and life, our concern center’s on other people’s view of us, and our own worth measured by success and affluence. #Self-Acceptance, #Kindness, #Compassion, #Worth, #Value, #PersonalReflection

Our false belief rests on the sense of worth we gain from other’s approvals and our ability to do things well. If we fail, if we do not win the approval of others, then we become depressed, develop a sense of defeat, and unwilling to accept self.

Inability to accept self, we fall prey to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and put ourselves down. Much of this is due to our inflexibility, unrealistic expectation of self, others, and life, our concern center’s on other people’s view of us, and our own worth measured by success and affluence. The impact this has on our lives manifests in the following behaviors:

  • Avoiding any risks
  • Shyness and social awkwardness
  • Procrastinate
  • Lacking any capability of being assertive
  • Becoming a perfectionist and workaholic

To overcome this false belief – we begin to work toward self-acceptance. This is to be an unconditional acceptance of who we are as an individual. To do this, we engage in a process of self-discovery of our own personal identity. Fundamentally, we answer these three questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What is my purpose and meaning?
  3. How am I able to be of service?

These three questions are significantly impacting on our own personal growth. They also help us develop the much needed self-compassion and kindness we need. Part of this self-acceptance is coming to a place of forgiving ourselves and understanding of our own faults and failings. How we are able to grow and learn from those failings.

Self-Compassion and Kindness Writing Tips

  1. Be as specific as possible – To foster kindness and compassion toward self you want to focus on the specific details.
  2. Go for depth over breadth – Dive deep into the details about the particular ways for which you are empowered to show kindness and compassion. Do not write in a superficial way. This requires some exploration rather than listing things
  3. Personalization – Focus more on what your own personal needs are and not what others may be able to do to show kindness and compassion. This will carry more weight and make a greater impact
  4. Subtract not Add – How will your life look differently when you begin to explore ways to show compassion and kindness toward self? How will this impact your relationships? What does this do to your own sense of worth and freedom?
  5. Good gifts – Change our perception and focus on how our own sense of kindness and compassion is a gift for us to grow and mature.
  6. Savor surprises – What were some of the unexpected things that you are discovering? Does this surprise you? How does this contribute to your greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in life?
  7. Revise if you repeat – Zero in on different aspects when you find yourself writing about the same content regarding kindness and compassion.

The Writing Prompt

Are you ready? Here is the writing challenge for this week:

I am able to be kinder toward myself by…..

Remember to follow the tips. Practice mindfulness and meditation to help clear the landscape of your mind. Do not merely just write about what you are grateful for, share the thoughts, emotions, and how your body responds.

When you have completed this challenge – comment and share your thoughts on this experience.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. homwardbound says:

    Mindfulness
    God has forgiven us all through Son, Done once for all, not a few, all
    It is up to each person to believe or not believe God, to be set free or not
    That is all that is left
    It does take a stance, to see it, and can take a long time to see it, the Question is:

    Whether or not one does believe or not, see Job, re-read it, if have not yet, see the Beginning and then the End. Job believed, by not work(s), by not Denying God, no matter what troubles came upon him. Jesus the Son, all the way to physical death, without a fight back
    Woe is me, Isaiah 6:1-6

    Like

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