December focus: self-compassion

december-focusDecember started a few days ago.

This is the fourth month of my happiness project and the first month I’m going to focus on a single encompassing  theme. That is self-compassion.

This time I’m approaching the topic a bit differently: I’m repeatedly posing myself the following question: How can I treat myself kindly today? I chose the “one question technique” instead of the multiple resolutions because I still remember how well the Kaizen principle worked for me when I was trying to change a bad habit.

Even though I don’t have new resolutions, I’m plenty busy following my old ones – trying to keep myself pain free and especially improving my mindfulness skills. I’ve learned how to defuse from my thoughts already, and now I’m adding a new skill to the mix – how to better deal with difficult emotions. In practice it means I’m learning to give my difficult feelings and emotions more room instead of trying to avoid them or push them away.

Learning to do that should prove interesting.

For the formal training sessions (I’m using a mp3 recording by Russ Harris) I probably need to induce some negative emotions on purpose. That shouldn’t be too difficult, I already know what issues and topics push my buttons most. Money issues and comparing myself unfavorably to others are the first one that come to my mind.

If I want to add more fear and anxiety, I’ll just dwell on my favorite gloomy predictions for the future. 🙂

Why self-compassion?

Why did I choose self-compassion as a theme? Simply because I don’t have much experience with being compassionate to myself. I want to try it for a while. It’s natural for me to judge myself harshly if I think I’ve failed somehow – and because my standards are often unrealistic, it’s very hard not to “fail” all the time.

Another reason I want to give self-compassion a chance is because it’s very obvious to me that judging myself harshly isn’t bringing me the things I want  in life.

So far, I’ve done some simple things in answer to my question. Yesterday I decided to go for a long leisurely walk outdoors instead of finishing a task on my todo list. I knew I needed that exercise. It wasn’t especially hard and I didn’t feel bad afterwards even though I wasn’t able to finish every single task on my todo list for yesterday.

Overall, I’m very curious about what I will learn and what challenges I’ll face.

I have a question: When is the last time when you were compassionate toward yourself rather than judging? What was it like?

Comments

  1. As you probably know from my blog(s) Satu, this is something I really struggle with. I often say that I have problems trusting others but trust myself, but… in retrospect I don’t think it’s true. I second-guess myself and my motivations all of the time.

    But – while i’m not very compassionate towards myself, I’m better at recognising when I’m being hard on myself. I often notice my self-talk… “God Deborah you’re an idiot.” about really minor things (typos when I’m working or forgetting something) and I think I can at least start picking up on those things.

    Deb

  2. Satu says:

    Hi Deb! I think that judging ourselves is an automatic habit for many of us. I also think that we judge ourselves because we expect it will somehow improve our behavior – except it doesn’t. It’s like the guilt about eating chocolate I was talking in my last post. It doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to work.

Leave a Reply to Satu Cancel reply

*