Do you know what self-compassion looks like? It’s about taking time off, stepping away from something or recognizing our weakness, or getting in touch with our emotions are all part of self-compassion. 

We are all good at being understanding and compassionate and kind to others. How often do we offer this same kindness and compassion to ourselves? Research on self-compassion shows that those who are compassionate are less likely to be anxious, depressed, or stressed and more resilient, happy, and optimistic. In other words, they have better mental health. Here are three elements to keep in mind to practice better self-improvement. 

Here are some tried and tested ways to practice self-compassion:

1. Meditate or do yoga.

Yoga helps take your focus away from your thoughts and bring attention to your breath. Yoga or meditation is very relaxing, and it helps ease one’s mind. It helps you stay present and focused on the moment that is happening. 

2. Smile.

Pain and sadness can make it very hard to smile. While it does seem hard to smile when you aren’t feeling so happy inside, you need to sometimes force this out of you. Try doing this in front of a mirror every day or make a mental note to smile at the people you correspond with daily. 

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

Surround yourself with friends and family that can give you constructive and loving feedback. Each time you feel you are going down into your negative spiral, call these people up and speak to them so they can put your focus back again to where it is needed to be at the time. 

4. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Take charge of your life 

Take charge of your life – handwriting on a napkin with a cup of espresso coffee

You are the captain of your ship so do not make yourself a victim. There is always a way out of any situation. If it becomes unbearable, then leave. Otherwise, you stay put and make the best of it. And don’t point fingers, blame, complain or whine. 

5. Volunteer

Volunteering also takes the focus away. If you think you are in a bad situation, imagine the people who need food aid or money. Do something nice for someone else- start volunteering at an organization or donate. 

6. Remember to keep moving forward

We easily dwell on our mistakes and feel terrible for the way we acted. But you can’t reverse the situation so instead of feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself up over what you’d done, tell yourself that you’d made a mistake, you learned from it, and you want to move on.  

7. Listen to music

One of the best ways to alleviate your mood especially in the morning is by listening to songs and singing in the shower! It doesn’t matter if you remember the lyrics – a good happy song will put you in a good and happy mood. 

8. Just chill

Taking time off to do nothing is an essential part of being compassionate to yourself. This time off should be having a full hour to yourself to do something you love, or not do anything at all. Perhaps calling in a cleaning service such as  to clean your house is one way to give yourself an hour to chill all by yourself.

9. Read positive quotes.

Just log into Pinterest, read positive quotes every day. Better yet, print out the ones that you like and stick them in on your wall, your fridge, or your computer.