Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Try Some Self-Compassion

Today is Day 19 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.

I’m happy to have Jean Fain, L.I.C.S.W., M.S.W., a Harvard Medical School-affiliated psychotherapist specializing in eating issues, and author of The Self-Compassion Diet: A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness back as my guest. Today she shares how to give yourself more compassion, which a lovely gift of self-love. Here’s what she has to say:

Take A Compassionate Minute
By Jean Fain

The practice of self-compassion – treating yourself like a good friend or loved one – may be centuries-old news, but suddenly it’s new again. For the last year, not only has self-compassion been making headline news, including the #1 most emailed NY Times article last winter, it’s the topic of an increasing number of popular books.

When you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why Americans are gobbling up info on how to go easy on yourself. A steady dose of self-compassion has been proven to work like antidepressants without the negative side effects. It decreases depression and anxiety, improves concentration and perspective.

What’s more, self-compassion is not only safer than any diet pill or appetite suppressant, it’s proving effective in treating eating problems.  In a persuasive, oft-cited study, dieting college co-eds who fell off the “diet” wagon, but still thought kindly of themselves didn’t indulge in emotional eating. In contrast, dieters with their characteristic critical mindset reflexively overindulged despite their best intentions.

But how do you stop beating yourself up and start going easier on yourself? Got a minute? Here’s a quick and easy compassion-enhancing practice for right now or the next time you catch yourself in the throes of self-criticism.
If you’re walking down the street, feeling self-critical – maybe you caught a less-than-flattering glimpse of yourself in a store window or bumped into someone who’d last seen you when you were looking better, or maybe divorce has thrown you back into the dating scene – rather than give yourself a hard time, try a little tenderness in the form of a walking meditation. It’ll give you the calm and confidence you need to make your way toward greater health and well being. Here’s how:

As you continue walking, breathe deeply, and silently repeat the traditional phrases of loving-kindness meditation:
o    May I be safe
o    May I be healthy
o    May I be happy
o    May I live in ease

If you come across others who could use some compassion – a homeless person, an elderly neighbor, a new mother and her baby – mentally send some their way:
o    May you be safe
o    May you be healthy
o    May you be happy
o    May you live in ease

When it makes sense, return to the “I” phrases (May I be safe….) and notice the difference self-compassion makes. Even one compassionate minute has the power to lighten your mood, brighten your outlook, and enhance your ability to make healthier choices. Why put off feeling better tomorrow when you can take a compassionate minute today?

Check out Jean Fain’s book, The Self-Compassion Diet: A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness.

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2011 HERE.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.

  • http://CultureOfEmpathy.com Edwin Rutsch

    May I suggest a further resource to learn more about empathy and compassion.
    The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
    The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews,  videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.

    I posted a link to your article in our
    Empathy and Compassion Magazine
    The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Thanks for sharing and for including the link in your magazine Edwin!

Previous Posts

Shutting Yakkers Up Nicely
Have you ever just wanted to be left alone but someone intruded on your space? When I was a DoorMat and someone talked my ear off when I wanted silence I’d just smile and let them go on and on. I’d get mad inside and feel frustrated at my inability to say what I was feeling—SHUT UP! I’d g

posted 12:01:09pm Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

A Wake Up Call
Can you easily recognize when it’s time to make changes in your life?  I’m thrilled to have Dr. Dain Heer as my guest today to give you suggestions for waking your consciousness. He travels all over the world facilitating advanced classes, workshops and seminars on Access Consciousness® and a

posted 12:01:58pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Law of Attraction in Action: Assuming the Worst
This is post 280 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to manifest your desires.. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action Series to see how. When you’re going through a problem it’s easy to get worked up in a negative direction

posted 12:01:25pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Can’t vs. Don’t Want To
We often use words incorrectly. You may say one thing and mean another, without even realizing it. Often it’s done unconsciously. But it’s important to be aware of excuses you make for not

posted 12:01:08pm Apr. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Are You a Needy People Magnet?
Do you find yourself surrounded by people who need you for something? Do you tend to end up with romantic partners who need fixing? It’s common, especially for DoorMats who have people pleasing as part of their M.O.  I did when I was a DoorMat. These needy folks would bring me down with their dem

posted 12:01:49pm Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.