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Focus On Being Good To Yourself

It’s all too easy to beat ourselves up when things aren’t going totally to plan.  This excerpt written by Juliana Breines for  Psychology Today explains how to focus on being good to yourself by paying more attention to self-compassion.  A lot easier said than done you may think, but here are a few pointers.

Focus On Being Good To Yourself

1. Step outside yourself. It’s often easier to be compassionate toward someone else than it is to be compassionate toward yourself. To trick yourself into treating yourself better, pretend that someone you care about is in your shoes instead—what would you say to them?

2. Find your inner caregiver. For those who had compassionate caregivers growing up, self-compassion may come more easily (Neff & McGeHee, 2009). But when models of compassion are not readily available, all hope is not lost. In a chapter of Paul Gilbert’s edited volume, Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research, and Use in Psychotherapy, Psychologist Deborah Lee discusses an intervention that involves drawing comfort from a “perfect nurturer”—a person or spiritual being who is unconditionally loving, and who possesses whatever characteristics one would hope for in a caregiver. Similarly, Paul Gilbert and Sue Procter developed an approach called Compassionate Mind Training that includes generating images of warmth and directing them toward the self.

3. Remember that mistakes make you human—and more likeable. In a classic study of the pratfall effect, researchers found that participants liked a person who spilled coffee on themselves better than a person who didn’t spill, as long as the spiller seemed otherwise competent. When other people make mistakes, they often seem more human and accessible, even endearing. They also make us feel like it’s okay if we too are imperfect. So if you make a blunder, not only might it make you more likeable, but you can think of it as an altruistic act, allowing others to let their guard down too.

I recently set myself a goal which I didn’t actually meet so I beat myself up over that.  I do think it’s important every now and again to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, reevaluate and focus on being good to yourself.

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