• 4 Ways to Love and Accept Yourself in Midlife

    When you accept yourself life gets better.

    How you do it is to confidently acknowledge that there’s so much about you that’s good. You also know you’re on the path of continuing to growth when you can accept your wonderfully imperfect self too!

    Daily life is challenging with unrealistic expectations of who you think you need to be. The media, social media, family, work, society at large, all try to shape you into the image of someone who measures up even if you might not agree.

    And yet,

    • trying to do a good job
    • be a good person
    • be valued by those who matter to you

    This is what’s really important in life.

    So, how do you get past negative self-talk, worries about not doing enough and living up to unrealistic expectations?

    The path of acceptance is one of courage. It requires you to get clear about what you need, even when you aren’t sure or change your mind or make a mistake about what you really want.

    Practicing self-compassion while you figure it out will help you stay on track.

    Here are 4 ways you can cultivate more self-acceptance. They are all interrelated moving from what’s outside of your control to what is within your control. As you follow the steps, you’ll clarify what you want in your life and set goals that align with your values.

    No matter what your age, culture, race, gender or nationality the media (and social media) often highlights the ideal and can leave you feeling that you don’t measure up to the ideal and unattractive. Comparisons aren’t only for teens; it can happen to us no matter what your age. Research has shown that the more media you consume with attractive people in it, the worse you feel about yourselves. But it’s important to remember that the media is a reflection of what we’re already thinking and to get unstuck it’s important to remember this. If your focus is appearance based, you likely feel that you fall short because your brain is already oriented that way. If you see media for what it really is—a show—then you can stop comparing yourself to unrealistic ideals and accept yourself.

    2. Limit negative self-talk.

    One of the ways you can better accept yourself is to challenge your negative self-talk. All of us have an inner monologue running all day long. If this self-talk is mostly negative, you’ll have a hard time feeling good about yourself. For example, many of clients say things like, “I’m not attractive anymore”or”my life is a mess” or “I didn’t work so hard for my life to be like this.” You can stop some of these painful thoughts by simply limiting your media and social media time, which can help the immediate negative reactions.

    I haven’t met anyone yet whose life is completely negative or positive. For longer term relief practice noticing when you have the feelings of satisfaction or when you laugh or even when you feel proud of yourself. When you recall pleasant memories – times in life when things have gone well, your brain gets a boost from recalling that experience. The act of remembering good times can open up a more optimistic frame of reference and help you get unstuck from negative thinking and accept yourself.

    3. Express yourself.

    What else stops you from accepting yourself? Mostly, it’s our fear of what other people might think about us if we showed our true selves. For example, maybe your friends all have the same opinion about a political topic, so you decide not to share your different point of view. Maybe your friends have a particular view on what’s healthy eating and exercise so you decide not to talk about your views because you just don’t want to have that conversation. Or maybe your friends enjoy sharing a meal at a fancy restaurant, so you decide not to invite them to your house for the cozy dinner you’d really enjoy. Even as adults we often hold back because we’re afraid of how we’ll be judged.

    It’s human nature to want to show the best sides of ourselves. And holding back your opinions occasionally is a necessary part of life — in fact, it can help make our relationships a bit easier and more enjoyable. You don’t have to share everything with everyone all the time!

    However, self-expression is a problem when you edit yourself so much that people pleasing is your default and your unique perspective gets lost. The result? Few of the people in your life know who you really are deep down. Maybe you even start to question who you are and what you believe. Another consequence is that the important people in your life don’t have the opportunity to accept you as you are. Most importantly, you don’t give yourself the opportunity to accept yourself as you are either.

    4. Celebrate your strengths.

    Sometimes it’s easier to focus on your weaknesses instead of celebrating your strengths. This is especially true for “problem solvers.” Everyone has things that they just aren’t great at doing and that’s okay. But, when you focus on those things instead of focusing on what you’re good at too, it leads to getting stuck. If you get down on yourself regularly for the things, it’s going to be hard to like yourself as much as you could. So, celebrate your strengths and discover even more about yourself. When you gain a new or broader perspective it usually helps you accept yourself more.

    In sum, when you accept yourself, life is easier – that’s the bottom line! It’s a process to get there. And part of that process is building habits that support your well-being and personal growth – step by step. Habits that help you feel good and continue to grow and nurture yourself with compassion and accountability make the process easier.

    How will you begin the process of accepting yourself?

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  • 10 Simple Mantras That Stop Negative Thinking And Stress Eating

    10 Simple Mantras That Stop Negative Thinking And Stress Eating

    10 Simple Mantras That Stop Negative Thinking And Stress Eating

    You know that nagging voice your heads that whispers, you need to calm down, stop negative thinking and before you know it, you’re stress eating? 

    It’s the voice that…

    • Doubts that it’s all too much and you won’t ever feel calm.
    • Questions your relationship with yourself and your self-knowledge.
    • Criticizes you and can be downright mean under the veil of being “honest.”

    When you’re struggling stress eating or emotional eating the voice of doubt focuses on what’s not going well and dismisses or ignores what is.

    What if you had a way to calm self-doubt and highlight your successes, no matter how small?

    Developing this skill can change the conversation and transform doubt into powerful 

    How to Stop Stress Eating Right Now

    When you have an answer ready that you can rely on to shift your focus, calm stress and anxiety and change negative thoughts – you have a skill that will serve you well.

    A simple mantra is a shortcut way to connect with yourself. It calms negative thoughts, so that you can be mindful and make choices that matter to you.

    A mantra is a coping skill that’s been around so long because they work!

    It’s nearly impossible to separate thoughts, feelings, perceptions, potential future scenarios, etc. When stress eating enters the picture, the feelings are often a jumble of mixed emotions. Those emotions lead to a big need for you to stop negative thinking!

    Getting out of confusing, conflicting or uncomfortable feelings is easier when you have a tool to compassionately focus your thoughts.  The other benefit is that when you intentionally focus your thoughts, they lead to increased motivation to stay on your path.

    Using a mantra to help you shift your thoughts is one of the easiest ways to stop stress eating. And stopping negative thinking is one of the most important strategies to calm, soothe and refocus your brain to prevent stress eating. 

    The best mantra is one that is meaningful to you and easy to remember, so when you need it, you have it ready.

    When a mantra is precise and concise, it just “fits.” And it’s easy use over and over to bring your stress level back down.

    Mindful living is being aware of what you think, feel and what your intentions are to live the life you want to live. Stress eating or emotional eating, distracts you away from  it.  You can get back in alignment with your needs with this question:

    Are you eating because you’re hungry or you enjoy the taste or are you eating to distract yourself from emotional stress?

    Stress eating or emotional eating will never satisfy an unmet need.

    Mindful living is a dynamic active process. When you slow down and stress lifts you get back to actively choosing your daily eating habits. You’ll grow in your flexibility to change as your needs change.

    You’ll naturally be mindful of eating what you need. 

    What you like might change when you get a chance to slow down and listen to yourself more closely. An effective mantra is one that calms reliably calms and comes back to you naturally, so it’s always there for you.

    Why a mantra to stop negative thinking?

    A mantra becomes a tool which supports you in building a kind and compassionate relationship with yourself. You can take a stand for nurturing yourself with good food, compassion and live mindfully with fulfillment.

    Here are 10 mantras you can use or as a starting point to create one of your own!

    > I am living in the moment, one meal at a time.

    > Peace and kindness support my relationship with my body.

    > I move toward my goals with compassion.

    > I feel balanced as I make choices that nourish me.

    > I listen to my mind, body and heart for what I need in my life.

    > Change requires my time and attention; my reward is contentment.

    > I am mindful and compassionate as I develop the tools I need in my life.

    > I’m cultivating a peaceful relationship with my body.

    > When I move my body, I experience life.

    > I nourish my mind, body and heart with a kind and loving heart.


    Sometimes we get caught up in complicated tools or strategies and think that they are naturally more effective. But most of the time they’re just confusing and don’t stop negative thinking or stress eating. Simple, clear and easily used strategies and tools, that you use every day are what support you on the path to living mindfully and fulfilling your intentions.

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  • How To Be Peaceful With Food In 3 Easy Steps

    How To Be At Peace With Food In 3 Easy Steps

    how to be peaceful with food

    Food peace through self-compassion gives you what you desire – freedom and accountability.

    Being committed to changing your relationship with food takes a different kind of focus. It’s more connected to what you want while at the same time giving you both grace and limits that are in alignment with your needs.

    Self-compassion is holding yourself accountable without judgement. When you take stock of your relationship with food with neutrality, push yourself when you need to do more and acknowledge your accomplishments when they happen, you’re on the path of food peace.

    To be at peace with food you need self-compassion most when you…

    • are tired of solutions that have you running in circles.
    • know what you want, to stop emotional eating, but it happened again.
    • question if you even know what you want.
    • need to adjust your goals to fit with what you want - not what “they” want.
    • doubt leads you to question your choices.

    While you adjust to this new form of accountability, you’ll have many opportunities to slip back into self-criticism, skepticism and negative thinking about your state.

    In fact, you’ll probably have a chance to practice self-compassion many times a day!

    The good news is that all of these opportunities push you to become even more clear and stronger in your resolve to change your relationship with food and your body.

    And, as you practice, you’ll develop habits that support your changes and self-compassion makes it all easier.

    Self-compassion helps you keep your focus on moving forward.

    Being at peace with food through self-compassion reshapes how you work with yourself, so you know when to push and when to ease up.

    You don’t need to look for balance when you have your own internal barometer to guide you. You adjust as you develop a refined internal awareness of your emotional states.

    Here are three steps to be at peace with food through self-compassion:

    1. Assess what is enough for you.

    When I ask people, this question, what is enough, they usually think in terms of minimums. “Don’t take too much” vs. “Take what you think you need, and you can always have more.”

    Are you in a place where you have enough, love, money, friendship, work challenges and fulfillment, food you enjoy, movement that feels good?

    If you know that there’s more you need in life, the first step is to get specific and identify what it is, so you can develop a plan to get it.

    2. Utilize self-compassion strive for satisfaction.

    Satisfaction isn’t an end point it’s a way of being that is your baseline of contentment.

    Satisfaction in life can only come when how you live your life matches up with your values. Satisfaction is one part of feeling like you’re doing what you need to be doing. You feel good about your life and yourself.

    If you feel incomplete, like there’s something that you want or need in your life, use self-compassion helps to recenter, ask the hard questions of yourself, so you get out of the endless cycle of stress eating to fill a void it can’t possibly fill.

    3. Question what you’re moving toward and make sure you want it.

    Is it what you convinced yourself of to meet others expectations, or it want you know in your heart you want?

    Lots of well-meaning people make suggestions, assuming that you’re on the same page. But are you? Just because your friend is on the diet, she might assume that everyone is on the hunt for the perfect way to eat too. Maybe you are, but your way of getting there is very different.

    Self-compassion is a commitment to yourself is to figure out your needs. Figure out what nourishes you in mind, body and heart. Self-compassion keeps you accountable to yourself and at peace with food.

    What being at peace with food does for you.

    Recognize that if your relationship with food isn’t serving you in the way you had hoped, it can change at any point in your life.

    Being at peace with food transforms your relationship with food. It is dynamic, so that tomorrow is closer to where you need to be.

    Keep moving forward no matter what because it’s your relationship with yourself that matters most!

    Sometimes you need to push yourself, when you’re scared and unsure if the outcome will be better than your current situation. But, when you’re backing yourself with self-compassion and accountability, you have what you need to take a risk.

    Self-compassion allows you to take care of yourself as you change.

    Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, no matter how content you are at the moment and stepping into the next best thing in your life is what transforming your relationship with yourself is like.


    When you say “yes,” to yourself you are already creating the space to be at peace with food. Thoughtfully, mindfully, making decisions from your heart, bit by bit, with self-compassion leading you where you need to be!

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  • 3 Foolproof Ways to Breakout of Decision Fatigue

    Recently I had lunch with a friend at a new sandwich place and it was just the type of place I love and the sort of place where decision fatigue sets in.

    They offered familiar sandwiches and salads with just a bit of a twist that made them interesting. It was busy and there was a big variety of choices. We had to let several regulars order before us because neither one of us could make a quick decision.

    We finally got our lunch after about a 30-minute wait.  There were so many phone orders ahead of us in addition to the full tables. The conversation turned to both the delicious sandwiches and our decision fatigue.

    We were both in the midst of last minute get away plans, not so much an adventurous vacation given we would be doing the same thing, but in a different location – just the realities of pandemic life!

    And that lead to us talking about all of the other decisions we make every day. From what to wear, to when to go to the grocery store or place a delivery order, to what’s the topic for the next blog, to giving permission or not for the kid’s sleep-over, to considering charitable giving before the end of the year and on and on. There were a bunch more we identified in the span of about 3 minutes.

    We both were at the point of emotional exhaustion listing them, let alone living it.

    Decision Fatigue

    Decision Fatigue happens when we make too many decisions in one day – or even in one hour – and we feel mentally drained by the process. Sometimes it can make prioritizing tasks, thinking through problems, remembering details and controlling impulses more difficult since the volume of choices made puts a strain on the brain.

    Women on a daily basis, more often than men find themselves in the position of not only making decisions for their own needs, but also those of for their families, business and other community commitments such as getting together with friends and family, volunteering, church, major household purchases, etc.

    It’s not that women find it harder to make decisions, but rather women make more decisions. In addition, the decisions we make usually have an immediate impact on our lives and those around us as well. Those two factors, volume and speed are a big contributor to decision fatigue.

    Here are 3 foolproof ways to ease the burden of decision making, so you can breakout of decision fatigue.

    1. Prioritize Tasks

    One of the best ways to relieve decision fatigue is by making a list of the tasks that need to be completed – both big and small – and then deciding which of them – big or small – need to be done first.

    Here’s an example:

    I often make a “master list” of things to do. This could be a DIY home project or even a fun activity like holiday decorating.

    I remind myself that the list will be big, but it’s okay since I’ll break it down.

    Then next step is to break the “master list” down into bite size chunks that I complete in a shorter amount of time.

    When I get things down on paper or in a document the details aren’t swimming around in my head anymore. I’ve done the task “brain dump” and can look at it more objectively from an action taking standpoint. This includes  the logical steps to completion and what can I realistically accomplish in the time I have.

    The last part about realistically accomplish, is very important since it’s both practical and a self-compassion practice at the same time. Biting off more than you can chew often leads to overwhelm which leads to decision fatigue, so take smaller bits and you’ll be more comfortable and make progress too.

    2. Consider What’s Really Needed

    Another great way to relieve the burden of decision fatigue is to think about what’s really needed.

    When decisions are many there’s a tendency to speed up the process and that’s the fast track to decision fatigue. The faster you make decisions the faster your tension will be relieved, at least that’s the hope. But this perspective only considers short term stress. I’m guessing what you want is longer term relief too.

    Here are 3 questions that can help you take a moment to make a better decision:

    1. Is this an immediate need?
    2. Is it “nice to do” or it “needs to be done” right now?
    3. Do I need or want help with this decision?

    These 3 simple questions can help you increase your awareness of your needs, the needs of the situation and ultimately leads to more thoughtful decision making.

    3. Reacting vs. Responding

    So much of the time we react without thinking and this is a big contributor to decision fatigue. Step 1 – prioritizing and Step 2 – focusing on needs both help to slow down that process so you can mindfully choose how you want to respond to what’s being asked of you. This shifts the dynamic.

    You get out of the rapid-fire making decision and into a comfortable way of being. When you know what you need (your family too) there just aren’t as many decisions as possible to make.

    It’s like you don’t need to  consider choices because you already know the answer before the question is asked. This is a major shift from reacting to thoughtfully responding and that’s what being in alignment is all about.


    When you move out of what Jon Kabat-Zinn calls, human doing and into human being, it’s a place where day to day decisions no longer seem stressful. The you have a reservoir of calm and well-being you can draw on when your stress level rises and you start do feel the emotional exhaustion of decision fatigue. Your confidence increases as you clearly know what’s in your best interests respond in kind.

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  • 10 Ways to be strong, feel calm and have clarity

    Being strong, calm and clear are three ingredients anyone needs when they’re in the middle of challenging times.

    10 ways to be strong and feel and have clarity

    Hectic schedules, long work hours, health problems and the fast paced changes aren’t easy to handle. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are the keys to being strong, calm and clear:

    1. Breathe!

    Taking a few minutes out of every day to just breathe can change your perspective on everything around you. It puts distance between the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that may be distracting you from focusing on what’s truly important. 

    It delivers more oxygen to your brain that lowers stress and increases calming neurotransmitters for more clarity.

    2. Change your environment.

    This is a big one. When you’re around people you don’t want to be, a change is needed. 

    If your physical environment is stressful with too much clutter or noise, it can increase anxiety. Even at a low level they distract you from what you need to do. 

    Think about what you need to create the positive environment for yourself. Ask yourself, if this helping me or stopping me from doing what I need to do for my well-being?

    3. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

    Realize that others may not understand your life as well as you do. 

    Maybe, you need time and space to understand your life too?

    The first part of being calm is to understand what’s going on within yourself. Sometimes we take our first impressions and the only impression. 

    Take for instance a feeling. When someone doesn’t hold the door open for you might be irritated at first.  You might quickly think that it’s rude and the person is a jerk. Which might be true, but often we don’t have the opportunity to find out. 

    When you find your feelings linger and you wonder why you can’t shake an insignificant situation, it’s probably something else, like feeling invisible, disrespected, unimportant or any number of other feelings that need care. 

    Understanding yourself is an act of self-compassion. Which leads more calm and clarity and knowing what you need in your life.

    4. Being strong comes from self-knowledge

    Each and every one of us has a reason to be here and a purpose. Seek that purpose. 

    You may not see the story line that made you who you are yet, trust it’s there and hang on to what you do know. Your life is unfolding in ways no one can predict. 

    As you go through life, it may not be what you expected it to be. If you followed the plan. Go to school, create a good career, find the right partner, have the kids or not and then you’ll have the life you dreamed of. But when it doesn’t turn out that way it,  is when many people begin to doubt that they’re on the “right” path. I don’t think there’s a right path, just the one you’re on. 

    Each path has lots of options and you can change your direction to a path that feels more in alignment with what you need. Sometimes it takes some exploring to find out which path that it. Take each day as it comes, make wise decisions and in the end, you’ll get to where you need to be.

    5. Build a reservoir of calm

    Strength comes from building your reserves of calm and clarity

    When you know where you end and the other begins it’s easier to not let the emotions of others upset you. Emotional boundaries aren’t about being unfeeling or lacking empathy, it’s about respecting yourself and others that you each have your own experiences. 

    Your self-knowledge along with the well-being habits are skills you can learn to keep stress low and reservoir of calm full.

    6. If something is bothering you, deal with it then and there.

    Don’t put it off for tomorrow. If you let the sun set on the problems that you have today because they will only create more mind-clutter. 

    Ask yourself 3 things: 

    1. How am I feeling? 
    2. What do I need?
    3. Which action do I need to take? 

    Sometimes your answers might be, “I don’t know,” and that’s completely okay. You might need to give it a few minutes and allow yourself some space to get clear. 

    The idea is to not let it linger and avoid dealing with something that needs your attention.

    7. Clear communication with yourself and others takes time

    Use it. Don’t talk yourself out of your ideas or accept less than what you need. Don’t settle for less than what you are for the sake of convenience. 

    Being heard and understood will help you to keep growing in your relationships – with yourself and others.

    8. Choose your words wisely and be sincere even when you’re wrong.

    Don’t try to manipulate yourself or others with your words by saying something different from what is in your heart. 

    When you’re clear it’s easier to speak how you would like to be spoken to, with compassion, sincerity and integrity. 

    Remember, personal integrity is a gift you can give yourself every day.

    9. Know what’s most important to you and cherish and protect it.

    No one knows exactly what will happen; don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands. 

    Be responsible for your own feelings and trust that others can choose to be responsible for their feelings as well. 

    You job is to take care of your well-being.

    10. The simple things matter.

    A smile, a compliment or a walk through the woods can give you the energy you need to find inner clarity and inspiration. It’s the simple things that sprinkle the day with positive feelings and bathes your brain in feel good neurochemicals. 

    It’s important to take a step back and savor those moments. They are the antidote to negativity and false positives.


    Being strong, feeling calm and having clarity are all possible. 

    When life feels overwhelming and your mind is cluttered with all the things you need to do, people you need to take care of and situations that need your attention it can seem impossible. 

    There isn’t a magic wand, but there is one thing that makes a difference – it’s your relationship with yourself. 

    When self-compassion becomes a priority in your life, it leads the way to more calm, clarity and makes you strong!

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  • Do you need more than peace to be fulfilled?

    do you need more than peace to be fulfilled?

    I found the answer was to take care of my needs that I had buried while taking care of everything and everyone. It was the simple, yet challenging step that led to longer lasting happiness and contentment, which means – peace.

    What do you really want?

    I’ve found that I want a few important things. I care about the people around me as well as my own needs and for us to all happy and fulfilled.

    I also care about people in my life who aren’t close to me and who I don’t often think of.

    If things are going well, I’m really good at thinking about everyone in my life and making sure I’m contributing in some way to their happiness.

    Sometimes, though, even when things are going well, that’s not enough for me. I want things to be even better. I don’t want to be stressed out all the time.

    I think about, what do you really need to be happy?

    We often look for happiness in things we think we can do something about. But when we look for it in the things that don’t seem to change, I wonder whether there is more than just peace?

    For the high achieving career women I work with, struggling to find the space and time for themselves, while caring for their family, maintaining connections with friends and pursuing their own personal interests it challenging.

    Many single women are often convinced that if they find the “right” relationship, they’ll be happy. It’s hard to give up the fairytale that was ingrained in our psyche so long ago. It’s so pervasive in children’s stories that even as an adult who knows her relationship with herself is what leads to inner peace, the wish that the fairy godmother will show up with her magic wand is a strong image to change.

    For the married women who feel responsible for everyone else’s happiness and feel guilty for not being able to contribute to it, even after spending time meeting their own needs, can wear down even the most resilient of women.

    The most important thing is that you are happy.

    You are responsible for it, but don’t let that throw you off track. I’ll repeat it.

    The most important thing is that you are happy.  Don’t put the responsibility of your happiness on anyone else, even your spouse or partner. Although he or she can make a significant contribution to your happiness, the outcome of your life is ultimately up to you.

    But there are things that could make you happy. For instance, if your spouse or partner can do something to bring your happiness, let them. If they can’t, then the best thing to do is for you to take steps to bring about happiness on your own. The thing I want you to remember is there is no magic wand.

    There’s nothing that will automatically make you happy

    It’s not the day that:

    • The kids go to college.
    • You get the big promotion you’ve worked the last 10 years to achieve.
    • Drive off from the car dealership in your dream car.

    Your understanding of what is important to you will change. It’s fun to enjoy the freedom of choice success brings, like sending the kids to college or the income from the promotion and driving a nice car feels good, but don’t let that stop you from pursuing what brings you a deep sense of fulfillment.

    If you think when things are going well, but that’s not enough for me, you’re probably moving toward fulfillment.

    “I want things to be even better,” it a kind of declaration that you need to take steps towards the peace that brings fulfillment.

    To me, peace is an accomplishment, but it’s not the biggest achievement in life.

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  • How To Stop Negative Thinking From Becoming A Habit

    Self-compassion is the missing ingredient that stops the negative thinking habit.

    how to break the negative thinking habit with self-compassion

    It’s not about being selfish but rather being kind to yourself, acknowledging that it’s okay to make mistakes or feel bad sometimes.

    Self-compassion helps you treating yourself with kindness and understanding when you make a mistake or experience a difficult situation.

    Self-compassion helps you to look at the big picture. Life is full of both positive experiences and negative experiences. Self-compassion is what helps you to look at both sides of life non-judgmentally, so you can move forward with clarity and prevent a negative thinking habit.

    Courageously embracing self-compassion will change your life in many ways.

    The immediate benefits are less negative thinking, more motivation, greater resilience, and more happiness. But the ultimate goal is to fully accept ourselves as we are – which can lead us towards living a fulfilling life.

    What’s the big deal about self-compassion?

    I believe that self-compassion is crucial for success, well-being and happiness because it’s an antidote for negative thinking and poor self-esteem. It might not be the most important factor in happiness, but it’s certainly one of the most important.

    So why is self-compassion so important in our lives?

    The short answer is that it helps us to overcome negative thinking. And to do that, we need to be able to feel compassion for ourselves— when we are suffering.

    The goal of the rest of this article is not to teach you how to be compassionate towards yourself when you are suffering, but rather to provide you with the knowledge that will help you understand how self-compassion can help you overcome negative thinking and achieve your goals faster. Hopefully, the result is less suffering in your life.

    Negative Thinking

    Imagine you are in a high-pressure situation where you can’t understand what’s going on and no one is willing to give you the answers. Think about the last time you had a client or employee who just isn’t getting what you’re communicating. You try to figure out how to communicate more effectively and yet, they blame you for not helping them get the result they want.

    As the stress and tension grows, so does your frustration and anger until finally you burst out in a rage of screaming at your family, crying and feeling life a failure too.

    Now imagine how you would feel if this happened to you. Would you feel content, happy and satisfied? Or perhaps sad, downcast and disappointed? More than likely it would be the latter. This is because we often judge ourselves very harshly on our own mistakes. When you can practice self-compassion, it helps to be more accepting yourself.


    High self-esteem doesn’t always result more motivation and success. A person with high self-esteem can still feel frustrated, disappointed and demotivated sometimes. In fact, some people with high self-esteem have a hard time overcoming their own negative thoughts and they keep on feeling frustrated or discouraged even though they believe strongly in themselves.

    Having a more realistic view of ourselves helps us to acknowledge our shortcomings while still having confidence in ourselves. This is where self-compassion comes into play.

    In psychology, the term “self-compassion” was coined by Kristin Neff, a researcher from the University of Texas. In her experiments, self-compassion has been shown to be crucial in overcoming negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves. It helps us to take a step back from our thoughts and see them for what they are – just thoughts.

    How does self-compassion help you?

    According to Kristin Neff’s research on self-compassion, it helps us in four crucial ways:

    1. It stops the vicious cycle of self-criticism.

    When you’re in a critical frame of mind, it can be hard to think about yourself in any other way. The more you beat yourself up, the more negative thoughts you have about yourself, and the more frustrated and demotivated you become.

    Many people get stuck in a cycle where they criticize themselves for not being good enough. “I don’t have what it takes to get where I want.” These thoughts can this quickly turn into a vicious cycle that keeps on going round and round.

    But sometimes we can outsmart ourselves by saying things like: “I know I haven’t been doing well lately and I’ll improve soon. I’m sure I can get better at this. I want to do better. I don’t want to give up.”

    2. It helps put things in perspective.

    When we have a positive view of ourselves, it’s easier for us to see ourselves in a calm and realistic manner instead of seeing ourselves in a negative manner that gets us down over and over again. Self-compassion allows us to be more objective when trying to resolve our problems instead of being stuck in the situation.

    The more self-compassion you have, the less you worry about things and the less often you experience negative emotional states such as anxiety, sadness and stress (Neff & Conner 2014).

    Empathy is one of the most important aspects of self-compassion, and it’s the major reason why self-compassion is so effective. Research shows that those who are more self-compassionate experience less negative emotions like anxiety and depression (Neff & Vonk 2010).

    3. It helps you be more resilient to negative events.

    A person with low self-esteem can feel bad about their self after not meeting his goals. A person with high self-esteem might not care as much. However, a person with low self-esteem can feel very discouraged and unmotivated.

    Although there is a clear link between low self-esteem and depression, there is also a link between high self-esteem and anxiety (Neff 2015). In her research, Neff found that anxiety can be reduced by practicing more compassion toward oneself. This led to less negative emotional states such as anxiety.

    This was a major finding for Neff since a major factor in the development of depression and anxiety is our negative thoughts.

    When you practice self-compassion it can help to relax us and bring us back to a more positive mindset. This can help to alleviate negative emotional states such as anxiety, frustration and sadness (Neff 2015).

    4. It helps you be motivated about your goals.

    If we judge ourselves based on our own actions, we feel like we will never be able to do anything right or achieve anything important. As a result, we feel less motivated about our goals and we give up faster. Self-compassion is a powerful motivator because it helps you to enjoy your accomplishments and learn from your failures.

    Neff found that self-compassion helps us to have a more positive mindset about ourselves and the world around us. This can lead to being more motivated to achieve your goals. When you trust yourself and look forward to achieving things with a good attitude.


    Self-compassion has a direct impact on negative thinking and self-esteem. It isn’t “going easy on yourself” or “letting yourself off the hook,” so you can avoid accountability. Self-compassion helps you to view situations as they are. Which helps to improve your relationship with yourself as your life becomes less stressful and more fulfilling.

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