The human system is intrinsically wired for connection and love.
– Chris Willitts, Mindful Muscle Founder
So why do we seem to miss the mark when it comes to connecting and loving ourselves?
Unfortunately, the competition of modern society forces us to constantly focus on the external world and has led to an imbalance within ourselves. Look around at the current epidemics of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and addiction.
It’s easy to confuse the lines of self-compassion and self-esteem, however they have important differentiating qualities. Self-esteem is connected to performance and how we believe the world perceives us.
Self-compassion on the other hand, has no element of competition present and we simply value ourselves because we acknowledge our own human nature. We love, smile, and suffer just like everyone else.
Studies show that self-compassion empowers us by decreasing anxiety and the effects of stress because part self-compassion is holding all facets of our experience of ourselves, without judgement.
It doesn’t require us to deny and suppress negative aspects of ourselves. When we don’t beat ourselves up for falling short, we feel more compelled to try new things and succeed.
And there you have it… self-compassion happens to be a mindfulness practice in its own right.
Self-Compassion 5-Minute Meditation
Try using this simple, yet powerful mantra I use with my meditation students:
- Sit quietly with your eyes closed (chair with feet flat is fine)
- Place your hands over your heart
- In your mind’s eye, imagine looking into your own eyes
- Repeat the following out loud so that you can hear yourself (or silently if you prefer)
- Breathe In: “I love”
- Breathe Out: “Myself”