5 Ways to be Kinder to Yourself

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Kindness starts with the self. It is only when we can truly be kind to ourselves, that we can extend kindness into the world for others.

Here are five ways to start practicing self-kindness:

1.       Practice Gratitude

There is good in the simple every day, if only we are able to look past our wants to what we already have. When we are grateful for the things that we already have – and this is not just about material possessions, but also the intangible like family, a partner, a job, etc. – it is so much easier to be kinder to ourselves. Celebrate the small wins at the end – and the beginning – of each day, and practice thankfulness to the people around you.

 

2.       Let Go of the Past

The past does not define who we are as a person and it definitely does not define who we can become in our future. Maybe you’ve done something in the past that you’re not proud of or missed a huge opportunity because you let fear get in your way, or perhaps you’ve let someone get the better of you because you didn’t stand up for a belief – whatever it is, let it go. Take setbacks as life lessons that will push you forward. Life failures are only failures if you don’t learn from them.

3.       Forgive transgressions

We all have had our feelings hurt, or we might have been betrayed by someone we used to trust. See what happens if we acknowledge what happened and decide to forgive that person. It doesn’t mean that we’re condoning wrongdoing – rather, it eliminates the negativity and allows us to move on to the present. A sure-fire way that someone else has the better of us, is when we allow ourselves to dwell on the hurt that they’ve caused. Talk it out, try to understand why they did what they did even if it is difficult and then choose to forgive them for what they’ve done or said in the past. It is only when we forgive, that we can start being kind to ourselves by freeing us from the anger and pain that have been caused in the past.

4.       Self-Care

Take time off for self-care. This can be taking an hour a day doing what you absolutely enjoy, starting a hobby that you’ve been meaning to pursue, learning that new language, or sitting down to read that book you’ve bought two months ago. We give a lot of ourselves in our day – in our daily jobs and to the people around us. Sometimes it’s easy to think that we’re being self-indulgent by taking time to concentrate on our own needs, but really, it’s taking time to nourish our souls and care for our own well-being.

5.       Respect

Self-respect is about valuing ourselves for who we are, and not allowing others to determine our worth. It is believing that you have the right and the ability to make your own decisions and form your own opinions. Self-respect is also refusing to compare yourself to someone else. When we respect ourselves, we are acknowledging that our beliefs and needs are as important as anyone else’s.

Dominique Nguyen