Do you practice self compassion?
I have shared a pile of information with you about how to do meal preparation, what foods you should increase and decrease your consumption of, and how to manage temptations while you’re out there in the real world.
But what good is any of this information if your mental and emotional health are not in a good place and you’re struggling to love yourself enough to put these practices in motion? I’ve hinted at the importance of self-love and self compassion, but I wanted to go more into detail.
The reality is that we will all encounter suffering and pain in life. And I don’t mean to be grim, but just honest. We rarely have control over life events, and we can only control our responses to those events. Controlling these responses seems easy in theory but way harder in practice.
In the high-pressure, high-stress culture we live in today, it’s so easy to internalize and blame ourselves for things that have gone wrong, things we haven’t accomplished, or mistakes that we’ve made and people that we’ve hurt. But being human involves doing wrong at times.
According to self-compassion expert Kristin Neff, this means that to judge one person is to judge all the world. But to forgive one person is to forgive all of the world, ourselves included.
All people fail or make mistakes sometimes, it’s part of the human condition. But every failure or mistake is an opportunity to learn.
And it’s only human to need help sometimes.
So how does all this relate to my health journey?
By having self compassion for yourself when you fall off the wagon with your food, exercise or self care choices, you’ll be less driven to overeat or continue self sabotaging behaviours as a way to make yourself feel better afterwards.
If you really want to motivate yourself, love is FAR more powerful than fear.
Promise yourself that next time you get off track that you will be kind and compassionate to yourself.
For example, instead of negative self talk such as:
I screwed up
I’m terrible at this
I’ll never succeed
I am not strong enough
I need to be even stricter with my diet
Try something like this:
Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes
I am only human
I am trying my best, but nobody is perfect
I love myself enough that I will keep focusing on making decisions that align with my health goals
I am strong
I am beautiful the way I am
It’s ok to ask for help
Keeping self compassion practices front and center in your life
Here are 2 self compassion mantras from Kristin Neff. When you are struggling throughout the day, try repeating these to yourself.
This is a moment of suffering
Suffering is a part of life
May I be kind to myself in this moment
May I give myself the compassion I need
May I be safe
May I be peaceful
May I be kind to myself
And accept myself as I am, and my life as it is
If you want to learn more about self compassion, I highly recommend reading Kristin Neff’s book on Self Compassion. I read it about a year ago, and it has been incredibly important to my own self healing journey.
If you use the free Insight Timer meditation app, you can also access Kristin Neffs meditations there for free.
Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. Tara helps people clear up cystic acne, balance hormones and blood sugar + improve anxiety and gut health NATURALLY with food.