The most difficult thing to do in life is to look at yourself and think about three different things you love about yourself. Try doing it now. Challenging right? Some might ask why it’s important to do this. The problem is that many of us think it’s not a necessity when it is – or that we are simply too busy.
Make Happiness With Yourself First
Here’s the thing. You need to make peace in your head first and clear your headspace. Self-love and focus are the tools you need to be able to work more productively. Letting go of the pressure we put on ourselves to be the best – striving for perfection. It’s unrealistic and exhausting. And you are NOT too busy to do this.
Perfectionism is a fantasy.
Pride and ego are even worse. They encourage us to push ourselves to unknown limits. Growth is good, but not when it’s at your expense, and you’re losing health. Most of the time, we’re driven to succeed and get it all right – every single time. What happens when you make a mess? You shoot yourself down with bullets of self-criticism and negative self-talk. This creates a negative downward spiral and makes your life seem dull.
I know, because I do it too, and we’re all too tough on ourselves. This is only a reminder to yourself of what you could’ve done better. Studies suggest that perfectionists are more prone to getting illnesses, both physical and mental and that self-compassion is what will help stop this.
The sooner you start to concentrate on this, the sooner you’ll experience and make happiness constant.
Self-Love Is Just Like Oxygen
You need to live and breathe love into your body and soul. However, it also means knowing your limitations and accepting them, and then setting boundaries. You can only start helping others when you help you. That means expressing your boundaries and limits to others without fear. You never want to overextend yourself.
Besides, being perfect is really boring! Being raised in the Western world doesn’t help either, not when you’re conditioned to believe that being obsessed with how perfect you are is the right way to be.
Let’s be realistic for a minute. To be perfect all the time is not natural and will be a bad thing in the long term. It’s basically as bad as smoking or being obese because you’re being proactive about it.
Moreover, research has found that lifespan, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, depression, and suicidal tendencies are all some of the most serious disorders linked to perfectionism.
Making Happiness With Imperfection
The only way you’re going to find sustained happiness is through your mistakes and embracing imperfection.
You deserve better than beatings of criticism. Happiness is something we as humans are entitled to, otherwise what’s the point of living?
Also, you need to resist the temptation to beat yourself up. It’s like you’re bullying yourself – this must stop because it’s a nasty and mean reflex that only drags you down. Whether your mistake was big or small from spilling your tea, or missing a deadline, or messing up a routine.
From missing a deadline to dropping a teaspoon on the floor. Anybody who strives to be perfect will constantly give themselves a hard time over the most unexpected things. It’s all about easing up on yourself and self-love is not something you have or don’t have either. You can learn to manifest it.
Self-Compassion To Make Happiness
Research shows that having more self-compassion builds resilience, even when there is so much adversity and chaos around you. The facts show that you’ll become more willing to help others, listen more and absorb better. Basically, your coping mechanism will skyrocket.
But what is it, exactly? Thank you for the work of Prof. Neff, Sbarra and colleagues who define self-compassion as a construct that encompasses three components:
- “self-kindness (i.e., treating oneself with understanding and forgiveness),
- recognition of one’s place in a shared humanity (i.e., the acknowledgment that people are not perfect, and that personal experiences are part of the larger human experience),
- and mindfulness (i.e., emotional equanimity and avoidance of overidentification with painful emotions).”
The bottom line: Just be kinder to yourself. Be warm and courteous and understand that we’re meant to feel failure, uncertainty, and inadequacy at times. Rather than criticizing yourself for it, just learn from it.
This won’t happen to you overnight, but with small steps every day a lot can change.
Train Your Brain
With anything in life, it requires you to train your body. The same as you when you train your body in the gym. No chance that you will be able to lift a heavyweight in the first few sessions. Profs. Neff and Germer who work at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA says that when you combine mindfulness with self-compassion. You are able to develop a technique called ‘Mindful Self-Compassion […] Training,’ which they have tested in clinical trials with amazing results.
The researchers state that ‘self-compassion is about being kind to yourself in the midst of suffering and it that it will change. Thus, mindfulness entails opening up to suffering from spatial awareness and that it will change.
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