Giving myself some compassion during my own difficult time with anxiety was a huge help.
Being mean to myself calling myself names, criticising myself and telling myself that I was useless and worthless sent messages to my brain that it was being attacked and it automatically switched on the fight, flight or freeze mode and the continued self-criticism kept my anxiety on constant alert as my self esteem got lower and lower.
Luckily for me I found ways to stop attacking myself and learnt how to turn off the anxiety switch.
Because of this I thought that I would share some ideas and information in relation to self compassion so that you might consider giving yourself some and in doing so it can help to lower your anxiety and improve your self-esteem.
So what is it?
In a nutshell it’s about giving our self some understanding, Consideration and love and kindness.
Why is it a good thing?
Well , Often in our busy lives we are running around blaming ourselves for not getting something right and regularly criticising ourselves as well as making harsh judgements of ourselves and all of this leads to us feeling anxious and not good about ourselves so…
Self compassion is good because it helps to deactivate your threat system. When you are giving yourself some compassion you are comforting and caring for yourself rather than blaming yourself for everything. It’s more nurturing and means that you’re likely to be less stressed, frustrated or self-critical.
So how does it work?
Again, in a nutshell, By being kind to yourself it deactivates your threat system?
An example might be for you to remember all those times when your friends have approached you with their worries and concerns. You probably gave them your time by listening to them with understanding and kindness.
It may have been that what they did was wrong and it may also have been that you helped them to acknowledge that mistakes happen And that sometimes we need a little help to accept that the situation wasn’t that bad and that they were trying to do their best.
Or it may be that what they did was wrong but you helped them to acknowledge that mistakes happen and that we can learn from them.
So… What can you do To bring more compassion into your life?
Initially I would invite you to notice when you are being mean or unkind to yourself. Notice when you get cross with yourself and the phrases you use which might be something like;
“I always get it wrong“
I’m rubbish at everything“
“I’m never good enough!“
Clock those phrases (be mindful of them) and think about how you would respond to a friend and then apply those thoughts to yourself.
How can you reframe those phrases? Have a go at it using positive self talk rather than negative.
Recognise what you appreciate about yourself and make a list of at least three of those things.
Gradually change your thoughts to more helpful ones and start to love yourself a little more.
By accepting that you are human and that actually you do make mistakes and by giving your self Some love and kindness you can enhance your self-esteem, reduce your anxiety and also help to lessen that depression. Self compassion is also useful when we are struggling with perfectionism.
Can counselling and mindful practice help?
Yes, I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t!
Both counselling and mindful practice separately or together can help you to explore and find triggers as to what’s activating that meanness, self worthlessness, low self-esteem and help you to recognise what is going on, help you to make choices and bring more compassion and understanding into your life
So, if you are ready for your counselling journey and want to make an appointment you can give me a call on 07478754839.
DON'T STRUGGLE ALONE!