What does it mean to be kind to yourself? A counselor tells you all

Failures are a part and parcel of life, so accept them for what they are and be kind to yourself. Here’s what your approach must be!
be kinder to yourself
Don't forget to love yourself! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Shriya Srivatsan Published: 26 Dec 2021, 12:00 pm IST
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Let’s say your friend has given their first attempt for a competitive exam. They are excited and awaiting their results, but unfortunately, they have failed. Their teacher comes in and screams at them saying; “You’re going nowhere in life, you studied so much and yet failed, you’re just a loser, drop out.” 

Alternatively, there is another teacher who walks in and tells them; “Hey that’s okay, if you look at your answers you can see that your methodology is right, you just need to practice more. We can do it in class, you’ve worked so hard on this, I’m sure you’ll pass next time!”

how to be kind to yourself
It’s NOT selfish to think about your own needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Which teacher do you think will enable positive change in the student? Which teacher are you to yourself when you make a mistake?

How many of us beat ourselves up for our mistakes and actions? We get embarrassed easily and we stop trying altogether, what if we fail? What will others think of us? 

The blame game

Our programmed reaction to not satisfying our expectations is to blame ourselves and get critical about our actions.

We hold on to situations, without forgiving ourselves, destroying our peace of mind and sleep. Do we really deserve the punishment we give ourselves – reliving our negative emotions every day?

Being kind to yourself means being able to look at your reflection in the mirror and saying the words “I love you”, while actually meaning it. Many of us, criticize our reflection, break down and can’t utter these words to ourselves. 

What do we do then? It’s simple on paper, the empathy you show to others, should be shown to yourself as well. But in reality, we find flaws, and compare ourselves to others.

Also, read: These self-care tips will turn your life around

Physically, if we are asked to do an activity, we know it will be detrimental to our health, and we wouldn’t. So, why is it that when it comes to mental health, we go through that pain and suffering knowing very well how harmful it is to us? 

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How can we bring about change?

We can start by trying to track our thoughts and write them on a piece of paper or tag them as and when they come, you can segregate them according to where they are stemming from – ‘comparison, jealousy, control, childhood pain, etc.’ Simply tag them and let them go, don’t give in to thinking about it which may cause you to spiral. 

how to be kind to yourself
Love yourself and indulge in self care! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Another activity you can do is to write what you’re grateful for every day! It can be about what you saw, small things you appreciate or even specifically about work, people in your life, about yourself or all of them!

You can supplement these, by listening to guided meditation of self-love and self-forgiveness. 

Also, read: Self-care isn’t selfish! Make mindfulness a priority today

To be kind to yourself is to forgive yourself for all your mistakes, to understand you only have this one body and mind for your entire life, and to treat it with respect and utmost love. So, put yourself first, knowing when you need a break and taking one without guilt. 

It’s easy to understand what the word kind means to you. Simply imagine a world where everyone is kind to each other, what would they do, how would you treat them? List them out and one by one, do them for yourself.

You deserve the kindness you show others. You deserve the kindness you crave.

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About the Author

Shriya Srivatsan, Counsellor and Content Creator on Trell ...Read More

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