Being kinder to ourselves can seem difficult, even unnatural. Maybe you’re more accustomed to bashing and berating yourself. Maybe you think being understanding and gentle with yourself will lead to failure. What many people don’t realize is that self-criticism sabotages well-being. Research has found that self-criticism leads to anxiety and depression. Self-compassion, on the other hand, has been linked to less anxiety and depression; greater well-being; better coping skills; and even more compassion for others. If self-compassion feels foreign to you, thankfully, you can learn to be more supportive, encouraging and empathetic toward yourself. Self-compassion is a skill. It’s a practice you learn, which leads to greater satisfaction and a closer connection to others. Here are five ways to be more self-compassionate.
Margarita Tartakovsky, MS, is an associate editor at Psych Central and authors the body image blog Weightless.
She writes about everything from anxiety and ADHD to creativity and couples to mindfulness and stress. You can learn more about her work at her website.
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