Self-Compassion & Self-Awareness
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens - Carl Jung
As we begin this journey together, I want to start with a few building blocks that will provide you with an easier go at approaching self care. Throughout the research, self-awareness, and self-compassion have been found to be essential ingredients in a healthy and well-balanced approach toward self care.
What is Self-Awareness?
Each and every one of us has vulnerabilities, suffering, failures, and inadequacies. In addition, we live in a society that creates opportunities for incredible stress. Awareness of one's internal landscape, one's own vulnerabilities, and one's stress response are essential for well-being and assist one in the understanding of who, what, where, when, and how to utilize self care. Self-awareness aids one in the understanding that when a certain moment or experience triggers a vulnerability or stress response, we have the choice to 'go down with the ship' or turn to self care.
How Can One Become More Self-Aware?
One of the easiest ways to become more self-aware is with the use of journaling. Writing down one's thoughts, one's inner monologue, and one's daily stressors and concerns not only creates a space to 'let go,' but releases the day with paper and pen. Journaling can give one insight into the patterns that increase personal vulnerabilities and daily stressors.
What is Self-Compassion?
In the simplest terms, self-compassion is being kind to oneself. Research has found incredibly positive results with self-compassion:
- Increased overall personal health and wellbeing
- Enhanced social connection and life satisfaction
- Strengthened curiosity, optimism, happiness, and wisdom
- The critical and judgmental mind can be quite powerful and our society only reinforces it. However, with the use of self-compassion, we diffuse this energy by being gentle with oneself.
Self-compassion can include:
- Making time for self
- Creating healthy boundaries
- Extending compassion to others
Self-compassion has the potential of transforming not only one's inner landscape but also all of one's outer life as well. Incorporating self-compassion into your day-to-day life will not only help in those moments of increased vulnerability and stress but with time will become a habit.
How Self-Compassionate Are You?
This question is not one of judgment, but self-reflective in nature. I have provided you with a link to a simple quiz on self-compassion: http://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/ This exercise was developed by Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of psychology and self-compassion. This will help provide insight into personal self-awareness and self-compassion. I will continually remind you of this along the way, but please be kind to yourself on this new adventure in self care.