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  • Jessica Stong

Be Kind to Yourself

Here's some of the information I mentioned in the Lives of Courage podcast.

3 Keys to Self Compassion*:

  1. Be kind to yourself.  A simple command, but it’s not that easy. Think of what you’d say to a dear friend. Do you speak the same way to yourself? This takes lots of practice; essentially, you might have to change years of negative self-talk.

  2. Recognize that your struggles is part of the shared human experience. You are not alone. You are not the first to feel this way. We are in it together.

  3. Hold your thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness.  Let yourself feel and experience emotion. Don’t tell yourself not to feel it; you will only cause more pain and trouble if you fight it. Trust me. Lean in to the emotion. And then and only then can you start to explore how your thoughts are creating your emotions. You can look at what you are thinking about that causes you to feel a certain way. The key is awareness of your thoughts and feelings. That is the first step.

*This list is inspired by the work of Dr. Kristin Neff. I added my own take to her three principles in a way to help myself (and hopefully others) understand the concept as it relates to embracing ourselves with all our joy, fear, sadness and empathy. 

I also believe it is important and necessary to access mental health resources if you need it. Do it. This is courage in action. (And you'll need it to even start addressing self-esteem and compassion.) For everyone, dial 211 for access to services and resources in your area.  You can also call the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

As I mentioned in the podcast, here are some activities you can do to consider how to be kind to yourself.

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