What does it mean to be Kind to oneself?

As I rambled on about different ways of being kind towards others in yesterday’s post, well today and from now on you should also consider every self kindness.   Going on vacations are fun and an exciting way to relieve momentary stress, but as soon as you are back from your awesome cruise; flight to a remote island, you are easily sucked back into your hectic daily routine.   You begin to over work and you simply fail to take time out of your day for thyself. In the words of psychotherapist Claudia H. Christian, “Self-kindness is applying a generous and warm heart toward yourself to create sympathy and understanding from yourself, for yourself.”

Many feel indifferent to the fact that Self-Indulgence and Self-kindness are poles apart in comparison.  According to Merriam Webster online, Self-Indulgence means: ” excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.”  In turn this sounds to me as if you give into things that may not be the best suited for you.  For example, if I desire or have an appetite for unprotected sex, then some would think that it is okay to give into this unrestrained gratification.  This type of behaviour can conclude to bad consequences, also consider one who feels the need to self-indulge with un-healthy snacks due to the stress of ones job and before you know it is a bad habit that you struggle to change.

I consider Self-Kindness to be much different in sense that concludes from my not only my own experiences with dealing with both forms of Self-gratification; a website called “selkindness.com”.  I will admit that I am also guilty of  having a hard time making this understanding of the differences a daily Reality.  I think that is truly something we will all struggle from, until we take action on a daily basis and takes things one day at a time; however there is great promise in understanding that you can change.  Below is a paragraph that I thought was quite interestingly put together and it  sums up a great explanation of self-kindness:

Self Kindness begins with the realization that we treat ourselves in ways that we would never treat anyone else.  We judge ourselves with malice and cruelty.  We make basic nourishment our enemy.  We live within small defined cages of perfectionism where any step out of line brings our wrath and violence. Our internal environment creates our external world. (selfkindness.com)

When you conceptually try to digest this paragraph I think it makes much more sense as to how easily we neglect ourselves.  I mean just think about the things we do to ourselves to lose weight, or how we carry baggage from home to work.  Would you starve a child if they were hungry, or friends if they needed something to eat?  Neither would it be beneficial to carry your baggage from home to work, however it does tag along with you from time to time.  But imagine if you let your baggage from home rule your work day every single day.

I truly believe that there wouldn’t be much demand for your work within any place of work (lol).  It is truly amazing how we have this innate ability to mask our issues to get work done, but at some point there will be  a breaking point.  So instead of accepting this temporary fix of neglecting the true need for Self-kindness, we need to truly become more kind to ourselves.  I have found some very helpful tips from the (selfkindness.com) website, I have listed them below:

TECHNIQUES TO CREATE SELF KINDNESS

  • Start by doing one act of kindness a day.

  • Practice Forgiveness.  (Need help? Try Forgiveness meditation.)

  • Increase your consumption of real nutritious food.

  • Stop watching television, the daily news horror show and unplug.

  • Clear toxic people, emotional vampires, and drama queens from your life.

  • Learn to protect yourself from negativity.

Sound hard?  Well it truly doesn’t have to be.
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