How to be kind to yourself

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We all know we should be kind to animals and considerate of other people. But, are we actually kind to ourself? If you regularly find that you are beating yourself up or are plagued by guilt, it is worth making an effort to be a bit kinder to yourself. Here are some ideas so that you offer a bit of support for your good self.

The Past is Dust

It is often the past, that we carry like a heavy chain around our neck. If we spend time regretting the past, then we bring yesterday’s problems into our present as well.

“I always say the past is dust. By thinking of it and brooding over it we cannot change the past or free ourselves from guilt. If we have done something wrong, it is past. Let us think of the immediate future and allow it to grow into the immediacy of today.”

– Sri Chinmoy

When we live in the past, we become plagued by regrets and guilt. By constantly reliving the past, we cannot change what has gone before. If we have made mistakes in the past, we should not feel that this is our permanent reality. Focus instead, on the present moment and see how you can improve and go forward. It is only by focusing on the present and doing the right thing, that we can learn from the past.

Don’t feel bad for what you can’t control

It is easy to look at the world and be upset by the injustices and problems of the world. But, we shouldn’t allow ourself to become depressed over things we have no control over. This doesn’t mean we are indifferent to the world’s problems. If we feel the motivation, we should do something positive to promote the truth, kindness and goodness; but we also have to know our limits, we are not responsible for the direction of the world. A feeling of indispensability puts too much pressure on ourself.

Do one thing at a time

We have all tried to juggle several things at once. We also know how stressful and difficult this is. Sometimes when we try to do several things at once, we give ourselves an exaggerated feeling of self importance. However, don’t pile pressure on yourself; value simplicity and do one thing at a time. When you focus on only your current activity, you are not only being kind to yourself; but, also will be able to do things much more effectively.

Give time for your self improvement

We spend many hours pleasing other people; 8 hours a day in the office, several hours meeting family and friends. Can we not find 15 – 20 minutes to look after ourself? If we can find 20 minutes a day, we can learn how to relax, meditate and find a moment of calm in the rush of daily life. To our surprise we may find that this 20 minutes of quiet reflection makes us more productive and we don’t actually lose any time at all.

Offer kindness to others

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

― Plato

Offer kindness to others. If we have difficulty being kind to ourself, try offer kindness to someone else. What we are willing to give will also come back, and it will make us feel better.

Patience

An inevitability of life is peaks and troughs. Sometimes it is difficult to progress and achieve how we would like. Some days are just difficult. If we accept these ‘season’s of inner and outer challenges it is easier to go with the flow – rather than feel we are fighting the universe. Sometimes, it’s a matter of hanging in there, staying true and waiting for more appropriate conditions to move forward. If we have this patience and willingness to wait for best time, it is easier to be kind to ourself.

Don’t seek to meet the expectations of others

Some people can be quite demanding and place unrealistic expectations on us. Don’t feel obliged to meet the expectations of others. If you try to please everyone, you will always be striving for an unattainable goal.

Remember Your positive contributions

Sometimes our mistakes and faults stick in our mind more than the good things we have done. At the end of the day, take time to remember some of the constructive, positive things you have done. This doesn’t have to be big achievements; sometimes a kind word to other people makes a big difference.

Be happy

Life is there to be enjoyed. Don’t feel that if you suffer you will make more progress. It is when we are happy and in a good consciousness that can we be of greatest service to others.

Photo by: Tejvan, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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