“If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.”
The exam season is often exhausting as the constant preparation and assessment can be very demanding. In such challenging times, one can easily find themselves feeling disappointed, criticising themselves when the outcome does not meet their expectation. Instead of giving in to the negative emotions of self-criticism, you can practise self-compassion and adopt a positive mindset to learn and grow.
Self-compassion is about embracing your perceived flaws and replacing your inner critic with a loving, kind, patient coach. Being self-compassionate means building a growth mindset that allows you to forgive and accept yourself, just the way you are.
According to studies, treating yourself with compassion can reduce stress and even strengthen your immunity. In addition, it makes you more forgiving, open to others’ opinions and helps you build a positive perspective.
Self-Compassion Fosters Resilience
Do you often feel disheartened when you score lower grades than you expected? Do you immediately blame yourself when you fail? The next time this happens, remember to stop indulging in these thoughts. Instead, replace thoughts of criticism with words of kindness to not only feel better but also to reinstate your motivation to do better. Research suggests that students practising self-compassion are more likely to:
According to Dr. Kristen Neff — a leading self-compassion researcher — self-compassion is made of three key components. Consciously practise these elements to learn, grow, and get closer to your goals.
To be kind to yourself means:
Being mindful means:
Take The First Step — An Exercise On Self-Compassion
How Would You Treat A Friend?
When dealing with negative situations, how do you talk to yourself? Do you jump into the self-critic mode or would you treat yourself like a friend would? One of the best ways to develop compassion for yourself is by treating yourself like a good friend.
Have you ever observed? It’s easier to love, show compassion, and be understanding with our friends. Most of us find it hard to direct the same emotions of love and compassion towards ourselves when we make a mistake.
Here’s an exercise from Dr. Kristin Neff that could help you be more self-compassionate:
Imagine that your best friend is really disappointed and is being too judgemental about themselves. How would you talk to them in this situation? On a piece of paper, write down what you would typically do or say. Make note of the tone in which you would normally talk to your friends.
Now, think of a time when you were disappointed and were being harsh on yourself. How do you typically respond to yourself in these situations? Write down what you would do or say while paying attention to the tone in which you talk to yourself.
Is there a significant difference between the two? If yes, ask yourself why.
Think about it and write down how you would feel if you talked to yourself the same way you would usually console a close friend.
Now you know! Kindness can make all the difference, especially when directed towards yourself.
Affirmations are a great way to develop self-kindness and build a growth mindset that helps you accept your flaws and mistakes. Develop the habit of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, to see yourself blossom into an optimistic achiever. Here are some examples for you:
|Instead of saying…||Say this|
|I can’t do this.||I can’t succeed if I don’t try!|
|It’s too hard.||With more practise, it will get easier.|
|They are better than I am.||What can I learn from them?|
|I’m making too many mistakes.||Mistakes are how I learn and get better!|
|I’m not good at this.||What can I learn to get better at this?|
What is your way of practising self-compassion? Tell us in the comments below!
1. Why is self-compassion is important for teens?
Self-compassion equips teens to deal with disappointments and failures in a more positive way. Students who practice self-compassion are likely to be happier and more confident.
2. What are the 5 ways to follow self compassion
1. Practice forgiveness 2. Learn from your mistakes and move on 3. Count your blessings 4. Meditate to nurture a positive mindset 5. Try self-acceptance
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