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7 ways to be kind to yourself, starting right now!

Updated on:12 August 2020, 14:55pm IST
We are our own worst critics and can be very negative about ourselves. But in order to be kind to others, we first need to be kind to ourselves.
Chetna Pattnaik
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If you want to be kind to others, start with yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Charity begins at home. If you feel that we should be a more inclusive and kinder society where everybody is understanding and accepting of one another, then you need to start with yourself. To be kind to yourself is to understand yourself better, be patient, accept your own flaws as you work towards self-development, and give yourself the break you deserve. Once you are in harmony with your being and have made peace with it, you are already one step ahead in making this world a better place to live in.

Here are certain things you can do to be kinder to yourself.

1. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself
Spend time with people who care for you and bring about positivity into your lives, people who help you feel good. Such people can influence you to pick yourself up again when you fail. Even general conversations with such friends can keep you away from the unnecessary negativity and chaos, and shape your thought process in better ways.

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Friendship
Surround yourself with positive people. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Set realistic goals and be open to accepting your failures
Do not judge yourself harshly. We tend to judge ourselves more than we judge others. The standard of our expectations with our own selves are usually unrealistic.

So, the first thing is to set smaller and more realistic goals that are achievable through proper planning and diligent work. These small achievements will boost your morale, amp your self-confidence, and will become your incentive to work harder, and take risks in life.

The second thing we need to address is that failure is completely acceptable and can actually be very positive. Your failures show your efforts, and if you are consistently working at something, you are bound to get better at it with time and experience. All you need to do is, deal with yourself with patience and normalize failures.

3. Put a full-stop to your negative self-commentary
Pay close attention to how you talk to yourself. Watch out for negative thoughts like, “I’m an idiot”, “I always mess things up”, “I will never get there”. Ask yourself if you would ever speak to a loved one like that. Make conscious efforts to stop this practice of being too critical about yourself. Such commentary subtly gets registered in the back of our minds and we gradually perceive them as our realities. Be kind with your words.

poor emotional health
Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Practice self-care and spend time with yourself
Taking care of your body and your mind is a lifestyle. It is important to work on building good self-care habits. Go outside, take nature walks, sleep for a good eight hours every day, switch to a healthier diet, take long showers and keep yourself and your surrounding clean.

5. Don’t compare yourself with others
We often tend to compare our worst moments with someone else’s best ones. While it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the good in others, you should use it to inspire you to do better, rather than their success bringing you down. We are all different and we all have our own strengths, weaknesses and backgrounds. So evidently success is also bound to come to us differently and at our own pace. Be patient with yourself, trust your caliber and applaud those who are doing good in life.

vent out frustration
Normalize failures as they are an important part of the process. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Don’t hesitate from seeking help
In cases when you are struggling with something and find it difficult to make a call, it is advisable to take a third person’s opinion, who could have a more objective outlook at the situation. Approach somebody you trust, be it a friend or a family member, to talk over the problem with you. They may be able to help you get some perspective.

It’s easier said than done, but confiding in someone about what you feel can do you a world of good. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

And if you feel like you are perpetually depressed or critical about yourself, then seek professional help. Remember that to realize and accept that you are in need of help is already the first process of healing.

7. Write down some self-affirmations
Self-affirmations are phrases to help remind you of the positive behavioural changes you seek to experience. Write down everything that you aspire to achieve or become and start your day by reading them out and affirming yourself. Remember that these affirmations should not trigger negative thoughts or memories. This is a part of the positive visualization process that helps you believe in your strengths and give you the needed push to pursue your goals.

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Chetna Pattnaik Chetna Pattnaik

Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time.