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How to Conquer Self-Criticism and Embrace Self Compassion for Greater Happiness, by Emma Seppala

Stashed in: #happiness, Practice, Compassion, Most Important Stash Ever, Compassion, @emmaseppala, @emmaseppala

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Self compassion leads to decreased stress.

By remaining calm and understanding in the face of rejection, failure or criticism, we develop level-headedness, strength and emotional stability which allow us to have higher well-being and to be more productive and successful.

Practices for Boosting Self-Compassion

1) Write Yourself a Letter:  Take the perspective of a compassionate friend, so you can imagine that you are this other person. What would a compassionate and kind friend say to me right now? What would their words be? Later, come back and read the letter and receive it from yourself.

2) Write Down Your Self-Talk: If you are self-criticizing because your jeans don’t fit or you said the wrong thing in a situation, write down the self-critical words that come to mind and then ask if would you ever say these words to a friend? What would a friend say?

3) Develop a Self-Compassion Mantra: Neff suggests developing something that is easily memorized so that when something difficult happens, you can go to your phrases. They are not positive affirmations but reminders. Here is the self-compassion she developed for herself “This is a moment of suffering, suffering is part of life, may I be kind to myself in this moment may I give myself the compassion that I need” Neff’s son has autism and when he would have a tantrum in public, she would immediately turn to her self-compassion mantra partly as a focus for her mind but also because what she needed most at that moment was emotional support for herself so she could deal with the situation calmly and with more grace.

4) Meditation: Meditation is a process by which, through contemplation and relaxation, we can begin to loosen the grip of self-critical thoughts and emotions. There are many forms of meditation practice from mantra meditations, to breathing practices, mindfulness to yoga or nature walks. Find a practice that works for you and allows you to create space and quiet in your mind.

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