Self compassion is a key component of living a Growth in Motion!! lifestyle. It is an important aspect of self empowerment.
Growth in Motion™!! = Self Care + Self Empowerment + Self Knowledge + Self Direction
The ‘self’ implies a focus on “me” or “I” and can be defined as our personality, identity, or character. Within the word compassion is the word compass. There is also the word passion. When I think of the word compass, I think of a device with a magnetic needle that helps me determine my sense of direction. The dictionary says that compass means to comprehend, to travel entirely around, or to get into one’s possession or power. And passion is defined as excitement, emotion, intense feeling and love. Thus, compassion empowers, supports, comforts, and fosters growth.
Self compassion is using one’s personality to direct, empower, and foster personal growth with love.
As soon as we enter into judgments like “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too fat or too thin,” “That was a stupid thing to say,” or “I don’t deserve this,” in that moment, we have moved away from self compassion. It is not empowering and it is definitely not based in love. And if this kind of thinking persists without a consistent effort to change it, it can lead to anxiety, sleep difficulties, relationship problems, sickness and even depressive emotional states.
According to the Journal of American College Health (August-October 2011 issue) 71, 908 college students were screened for depression between January 2007 and May 2008 because it has been on the rise among college students. In fact, the American College Health Association recently updated their National College Health Assessment statistics to reflect that out of 23,863 students who self reported their data, 34% listed stress among the top ten impediments to academic performance. I wonder what those numbers look like for students who are not reporting their frustrations! Let me repeat…
34% of students surveyed listed STRESS among the top ten impediments to academic performance!
Practicing self compassion can be an effective star to combating stress. Here is one way to begin practicing self compassion on campus:
Practice talking to yourself in a kind way. Although this sounds basic, it can be a challenge for someone who has heard negative messages from key people in their lives like parents, relatives, coaches, friends, and instructors. A few ideas to help get started:
- Ask yourself empowering questions: What am I feeling right now? (This helps us invite and acknowledge all of our feelings. Stuffing them, or not talking about them, leaves the door open for them to come back in the future as unfinished business.)
- Speak positively: It feels great to be able to take time out to unwind when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
- Be honest and caring towards yourself: Even though things ‘work out the way I wanted them to, I’m glad I did it. This is what I learned from my experience___________.
Self compassion occurs with a commitment to building a positive inner belief system. As you practice self compassion, you will feel more freedom to be who you are (not what others want you to be) because you will trust yourself more. Consider it a work in process.
Take Care of Yourself,
“Living a Growth in Motion™!! Lifestyle”