Self-Kindness – The Art Of Being Nice To Yourself!

Today’s topic is about self-kindness because that is one of the most healing things you can do. Self-kindness is a relatively new self-care method and is an active form of self-love.

The Background

Before we get there I want to share what happened in my life to get me to this place. This is a story about my business, so hang in there. I’ve got to start with a little history so you can understand how this all fits together.

Back in 2019, I was still a dating coach and my website was kicking butt with amazing traffic. Through my own hard work writing weekly blogs that had really good search engine optimization, I generated wild traffic to my website which was incredibly exciting.

I was getting 137,000 visitors a month which adds up to 1.6 million visitors in a year! I was so thrilled with this accomplishment – it was like magic to me.

Then in November 2019, Google made some algorithm changes, which they often do. What happened next? My traffic literally plummeted to zero. I was stunned and heart broken. How was this fair?

After all my hard work for more than 15 years, the rules changed and I had nothing. Traffic did pick back up to about 25,000 visitors per month but never came close to recovering.

While this doesn’t seem like a relationship trauma, for me it actually was. I had a strong relationship with my blog and I identified with that wild traffic. So, when it crashed into the dust, it took me months to recover.

Short on Kindness 4 Years Later

Fast forward to this morning. I was speaking to my SEO search engine expert and we were talking about my new website, IntuitiveEdge.biz. I’m working to generate more website traffic, which is why I reached out to her.

When we started looking at the data for my traffic, it looked like there were a number of things messing up and causing problems. Weird things that she wasn’t sure how to fix.

This caused me to start to spiraling downward. I remembered how this felt from 2019. I’ve been working hard over the last two years on every podcast and blog post that goes with it. And now, there’s a bunch of technical glitches getting in my way of success? Again?

I started to question everything:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why is this happening again?
  • Why is this so very hard?
  • How much do I despise Google?
  • Why do they get to decide everything?
  • Who put them in charge?
  • I’ll never get this going the way I want it.
  • Why am I even bothering?

Ever felt this way about something in your life? Yeah, I bet you can relate. We all go there sometimes. It’s pretty common.

What’s happened to you lately and how did you respond? What kind of stuff did you say to yourself? Was it kind or understanding? Not likely!

Negativity is Natural

How unfortunate that this negative response is totally natural. Yet, this is what people do to themselves. Some are completely relentless with nasty internal chatter all day and night. Others are a bit less berating. But none of it is good for your well-being or self-esteem.

The problem got me thinking a bit deeper. Is there a better way to respond to a situation like this? How could I be kinder to myself? Self-kindness. Hmmm.

I looked that up and of course it’s a thing experts talk about. I found a great article from EverydayHealth.com and I’m going to share a little of what I learned.

Definition of Self-Kindness

Let’s start with a definition of what self-kindness is. Being more conscious about how you speak to yourself internally and shifting to a more understanding internal tone. Treating yourself with compassion and kindness.

According to that article from EverydayHealth.com, compassion is the awareness of suffering, coupled with a desire to alleviate it. This is how Steve Hickman, clinical psychologist and chief operating officer of Global Compassion Coalition, explains it.

“Self-compassion is the act of noticing when you’re struggling, recognizing that’s actually part of being human, and being kind to yourself rather than beating yourself up.” Thanks Steve.

Why is this so important? Because being kind to yourself is strongly associated with your psychological well-being. When you operate with self-compassion, that has been linked to feelings of happiness, optimism, connection and curiosity.

As these good feelings rise, other states of mind such as depression, anxiety, overthinking and fear of failure decrease. Awesome, right?

Next, Kristen Neff, PhD, who is an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s department of educational psychology, created this definition of self-compassion used by most researchers.

She says, “Self-compassion consists of three elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.” When you show yourself compassion, you are experiencing all three of these states of being.

Defining 3 States of Being

1. Self-kindness – Being kind to yourself.

2. Common Humanity – Realizing that suffering and feeling inadequate are part of the shared human experience and everyone feels like this at some point.

3. Mindfulness – A nonjudgmental state of mind.

What Does Self-Kindness Look Like?

Experts suggest you should treat yourself like you would treat a good friend. My recommendation is to imagine comforting a child if you were a parenting expert doing everything right. Then imagine that you are that child who needs the comfort!

Typically, most people are super hard on themselves and viciously critical. Negative thinking patterns impact how you view yourself and the world.

Also important is self-compassion which is the ability to turn compassion inward. It boils down to just giving yourself a break. Be internally supportive in how you to speak to yourself. Encourage yourself to try again, keep at it, move forward and everything is OK.

The idea is to shift away from the normal bashing your inner critic does. Being judgmental, cold and harsh when you make a mistake, when difficulties arise or things don’t work out as expected won’t help you move on.

Listen to more on being kind to yourself first

What can you do to shift the mean-spirited critical voice to one that is kinder? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be More Conscious with Journaling

After you’ve been hard on yourself, take time to journal about what happened and how you talked to yourself. Think about the harsh way you judged yourself and ask if that way of thinking is really true? Then rewrite what you said, using new self-talk that’s more positive and supportive. Look for additional ways to view what transpired to find more supportive things to say to yourself.

2. Recognize It’s Common

That’s the idea of shared humanity – how most people tend to beat themselves up. Once you wake up in this moment, you can sooth yourself with thoughts that you are not alone in this poor self-treatment. Anyone might feel inadequate, but some people have learned a better way to speak to themselves. You can too!

Dissolve negative beliefs with EFT Tapping in this episode

3. Be Mindful of How You Talk to Yourself

Notice when you are beating yourself up and shift into a kinder mode. Catch yourself in the moment of that horrible berating internal chatter. You can say to yourself, “Oh I’m being mean to myself again. What can I say instead to be kinder in this moment?”

Here are a few suggestions of kind things to say to yourself:

  • It’s OK, you’re still learning
  • I’ll do better next time or you’ll do better next time
  • My past is not indicative of my future
  • I’m cleaning the slate right now and starting fresh

Small Ways to Practice Self-Kindness Every Day

  • Little treats like have a special cup of tea or coffee drink
  • Take three minutes to listen to a happy song, even sing or dance to it
  • Read something inspiring or positive
  • Step out into the sunshine for 5 minutes
  • Read your horoscope
  • Do a 3-minute meditation
  • Bless yourself – May kindness follow me throughout the day

Mostly importantly, be patient and kind with yourself about making this improvement. Don’t let frustration take you away from your path of greater self-kindness.

Any change takes practice and time to take hold. It’s not an overnight thing. You are rewriting years of patterned behavior and typical reactions. Kindness here is key to your success and part of the whole thing, right?

The reason for doing this is to be kind! Don’t build up unrealistic expectations and find another way or reason to beat yourself up. Be gentle. Be reasonable. And last but not least, please be KIND.

I’m not a therapist, but I’m an awesome Intuitive Coach. If you want help learning to practice self-kindness, understanding yourself or your life and have questions for spirit, book your session here.

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