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  • Writer's pictureTracy McGimpsey

Back to Blogging with Self-compassion

Hey folks!

Clearly, regular blogging is not my strong suit. Also, it's summer and my computer has been replaced by my motorcycle and bicycle.

I can't promise to make frequent posts because I'd just be setting myself up for failure. But I will try to post more than every 2 months.

There are a number of different ideas I have for this post: feel-good neurotransmitters, self-compassion, hobbies, ecotherapy, therapy modalities, etc. It's a bit hard to choose what to write about, but I think I'll go with self-compassion.

I cannot say enough about self-compassion. I talk a lot about self-compassion with my clients and receive some skeptical responses. But when they try it, it works.

There's a lot out there about self-compassion; different views, approaches, and theories. I'm all about that science and like a good research-based intervention. Anecdotal evidence is all well and good but research is where it's at for me.

I like the work that Dr. Kristen Neff has done on self-compassion and use her resources frequently. The research into self-compassion has found that being more compassionate with ourselves (ie. treating ourselves like we treat people we really care about) can have positive impacts on anxiety, depression, substance use/addiction, self-esteem, relationships, and conflict resolution. The more compassionate we are with ourselves, the more compassion we can offer to others and the more compassion we're able to receive from others.

So many of us have a bully that lives in our minds; it's always ready to bring us down, beat us up, give us a "reality check", and just be mean to us. That bully is often the result of being on the receiving end of criticism in our life; often, it begins when we're kids in our relationships with parents/family, kids at school, teachers, etc. Many of us have an inner bully that likes to comment on our bodies or appearance.

What can happen when we hear this criticism is we internalize it and start talking to ourselves that way or judging ourselves in ways we've learned. For example, society will not stop telling us what our bodies "should" look like. As a result, many of us criticize our appearance or our bodies when we look in the mirror or when our clothes don't feel good on our bodies. That self-judgment is internalized criticism - we've learned to criticize ourselves for these things because we hear, see, and read so many judgmental messages about how our bodies "should" be.

A future post will be about the shaming effect of the word "should"; I have a lot to say about that.

Self-compassion can change our relationship with ourselves, our view of ourselves, and our relationships with others. It takes practice and consistency; it's not a quick fix.

I love to use self-compassion in my work with clients because the results and changes I've seen in people are amazing.


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