I wanted to talk to you about self compassion, which is something I have always fought. I often let my mind bully my body. I can be really hard on myself, I am my own worst critic. What about you, do you practice self compassion? Do you appreciate all that your body does for you? It’s hard to practice this self compassion, to remind yourself that ” you are enough”.
When we are babies, we’re just so fascinated by our bodies. I remember watching both of my sons as babies, they would spend hours just looking at their feet. They were so fascinated by their bodies. They would just stare and giggle at their hands and feet. And as they got older, they would confidently wear two different types of shoes on their feet. Or wear rain boots in the middle of summer and when there was no chance of rain. They did not care about their appearances, they had self compassion.
Somehow on that path to becoming an “Official Adult” ( I put it in quotation marks because I am not to sure what exactly an official adult means), we start to become critical of our bodies. Where stare at hour bodies in the mirror and look at our self with disgust. Instead of appreciating how strong our legs are, we agonize over how our legs look in shorts and whether they jiggle when we run, or if we see cellulite. We subject ourselves to uncomfortable “undergarments” i.e. spanx, which seems to make it so uncomfortable to sit or even breath.
When we allow ourselves to partake in this type of body-bashing, we actually do more harm then good. In a recent study that looked at army recruits who needed to lose weight, the study found that the people with self-compassion slimmed down, even under stressful circumstances (i.e serving in the military), while those who had a negative self-image gained weight.
Also, your self-image doesn’t just affect your weight. A recent study showed, that people who had a higher body self image tended to have less depression, have better relationships, and better job satisfaction. And if that wasn’t enough they lived longer.
So next time you look your self in the mirror try to practice self compassion. Focus on all that is good about your body, and smile.