For many of us, self-compassion is an entirely novel way of relating to ourselves. The practice of self-compassion, the ability to treat ourselves with the same level of empathy, kindness, and understanding as we would anyone else, can often be tricky to master. However, when we can consistently practice self-compassion, we are far better equipped to handle and healthily respond to failure, as well as learn and grow from every experience we encounter.
In this post, we will explore concepts to keep in mind and best practices to follow for mastering the art of self-compassion. We hope that these tips help you in your journey to treat yourself with kindness and care regularly!
- What to be Aware of When Practicing Self-Compassion
- Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion
- The Bottom Line
What to be Aware of When Practicing Self-Compassion
Learning how to be self-compassionate is no easy feat: it requires time and dedication to consistently apply its principles to your daily life. So as you embark on your journey to mastering self-compassion, here are a couple potential obstacles to keep in mind along the way:
- Increased pain up front
As you practice self-compassion, you might find that your pain actually increases at first. You can think of this phenomenon as “backdraft,” a firefighting term used to explain what happens when a door in a burning building is opened: oxygen goes in and flames rush out. A similar process can occur when you are practicing self-compassion. As you open your heart, love will go in, and old pain will come out.
- Emotional overload
Because this will be an unfamiliar experience, there is a high likelihood that difficult emotions will overwhelm you. A good way to handle these emotions is to focus on behavioral acts of self-care, such as:
- Focusing on breath
- Having a soothing cup of tea
- Petting a dog or cat
Doing so will help reinforce the habit of practicing self-compassion and start building a foundation for emotional resilience.
Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion
Now that you are cognizant of the potential challenges you may encounter, it's time to dive in and begin practicing self-compassion. To make the process as seamless as possible, here are some best practices you can follow as you attempt to master the art of self-compassion:
Remember the three key elements
The three components of self-compassion - self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness - are a powerful combination for managing difficult emotions. Kindness is an antidote to fear, regulating it through connection and warmth (just as you would experience with a friend or a loved one). Common humanity is an antidote to loneliness; remember that no matter what you are going through, you aren't doing it alone. And mindfulness is an antidote to overreaction, allowing you to detach from what is bothering you and view your experiences objectively. As you practice self-compassion, it is important to always remember and strive to follow these three key elements.
Actively Identify Difficult Emotions
An extension of the third element of self-compassion, labeling what you are feeling while you are feeling it can be an emotionally calming and stabilizing experience. Identifying and the emotion you are feeling will help you to understand it, providing you with the perfect opportunity to properly practice viewing the emotion from an unbiased and non-judgmental perspective.
Stabilize yourself through the soles of your feet
If you feel overwhelmed by difficult or even traumatic emotions and memories, try redirecting your attention away from your thoughts to the point of contact between your body and the Earth - the soles of your feet. This practice can anchor your awareness in the present moment if you feel emotionally overwhelmed, helping you to stay grounded and settle your emotions through the sensation of your feet touching the floor.
Practice your breathing and meditate
Another helpful practice for grounding yourself if you feel overwhelmed is soothing yourself by practicing your breathwork and meditation, either by yourself or with a guide. Focusing on breathing rhythmically can have a calming and soothing effect on both your body and mind.
Do something you enjoy
Just as you might cheer a friend up by playing a specific song, showing them a funny video, or simply calling them on the phone, you can do the exact same for yourself if you're in a difficult situation or grappling with failure. Listen to that song that gives you nostalgia, turn on that silly YouTube video that always makes you laugh hysterically, or chat with a friend or family member (in person or on Zoom) to assess and grow from your negative feelings.
The vast healing powers of cannabidiol (CBD) are well-documented. In particular, its ability to reduce stress and anxiety can be immensely helpful when dealing with tough situations or difficult emotions. If you are feeling tense or are having a hard time staying grounded, try consuming CBD to put your body and mind at ease.
Have a cup of tea
Consuming tea is also strongly tied to relieving anxiety and stress. As you deal with strong feelings or face personal shortcomings, having a cup of a tea can facilitate a sentiment of peace and relaxation, placing you in the right headspace to practice self-compassion.
Hold or surround yourself with your favorite healing crystal
Whether you already use healing crystals on a regular basis or you are interested in selecting one to weave into your daily rituals, healing crystals can be useful in reducing anxiety in the midst of emotional turmoil.
Ground yourself in nature
You can never go wrong by tuning in to your natural surroundings. Taking a walk and experiencing the fresh air allows you to clear your mind and more objectively analyze your feelings. Whether you take in the sight of a magnificent tree, hear the joyful lullaby of a bird, or become enraptured by the scent of a flower, immersing yourself in nature can help shift your body and mind into alignment.
The Bottom Line
Self-compassion can be an elusive, but exciting, art to master. Although it may be challenging at first, practicing on a regular basis will unlock your full potential by drastically improving your ability to self-reflect, learn from your mistakes, and ultimately accomplish your goals.
When you are able to expect and embrace failure as a natural part of your journey, you are able to grow from your experiences instead of overly criticizing or isolating yourself. To fail is to be human, so don't forget to treat yourself with the compassion you deserve! It will go a long way in providing a powerful source of emotional strength and resilience to handle any situation that life throws your way.
At Empress Teas, our products, resources and community are all aimed at helping you build the right lifestyle for your mental wellbeing. We look forward to being your guide on the journey to wellness.