Start with Kindness

I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way. Lady Gaga.

It sounds clique but accepting and loving yourself for who and what you are, right now is powerful. Treating yourself with kindness and learning to love the person you are not only changes your relationship with yourself but will change your relationships with other people. Sometimes our inner critic can get the best of us. Adopting a method of kindness towards ourselves can help form the foundations of approaching a life you want.

How we talk to ourselves is probably more important than most of us realize. Our mind-body connection is a powerful one and we often underrate the influence that the mind has on helping and healing us. Think about how you talk to yourself, maybe you aren’t overly aware of the conversation that you are having with yourself. Perhaps think about when you look in the mirror at yourself? Is it mostly positive or negative comments that you hear inside?

We are usually our own harshest judges. We are critical of every aspect of ourselves, our weight, how we look, how much money we earn, the things we own, what we are deserving of. The dialogue you have with yourself is fundamental to your successes. Is it damaging? Do you call yourself names? Do you often use absolutes, should, must, impossible, wrong. Do you blame yourself or constantly criticize yourself? Do you complain rather than look at ways to be grateful?

Negative self-talk can really impact our relationships, firstly with ourselves and secondly with others. Often we are not always aware of our thoughts, sometimes it is as though they have taken the centre stage of our minds and we believe everything they tell us. Thoughts are not facts though. Thoughts are just thoughts and we have the power to decide which ones we give attention to. The ones we choose to feed are ultimately the ones that grow, the ones we ignore will lose their power. Learning to treat yourself with love and kindness, rather than buying into cruel thoughts can change your whole outlook on a situation, an event, a day or even a life.

We don’t want to avoid these thoughts altogether and we probably couldn’t even if we tried. Some of these thoughts may exist for a reason, we may have picked some of them up off of other people or from certain life events. Sometimes it can be helpful to examine a thought, if there is any validity to it and the reason you might think that. Pushing thoughts away and avoiding them altogether can encourage the development of fear and anxiety, so we want to give the thought space and some attention but we don’t want to buy into the thought and let it develop into more than it is. Approaching a thought, as a thought and not a fact and then choosing to commit to kinder more fair conversations with yourself is a more helpful and healthy approach to looking after yourself.

Sometimes we can’t control what happens in life, but we can control how we choose to respond to a given situation. We can’t change how we have responded in the past but we can choose what happens now. A helpful technique is looking at what you would say to a friend or a loved one if they were in your shoes and coming up with phrases that you would say to them. Then using those phrases to introduce to yourself and to start interacting with yourself in that way. Treat yourself with kindness – as if you deserve to be looked after, because you do!

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