Monday, April 10, 2006 

Happiness How-to

Just finished reading an article that states that "self-esteem" is not nearly as critical as "self-compassion" .

Seems that "Being Kind to yourself in hard times as you would to a good friend establishes a built-in support system," asserts study author Mark Leary, Phd. (Wake Forest University, North Carolina)

It's precisely at the moment when you feel you've messed up or that you doubt that you're smart enough, disciplined enough etc. that self-esteem fails you. If you are convinced that your worthiness is based on certain good qualities, any sign that you don't have those qualities can be devastiating. To avoid that devastation, you may resort to defensiveness or irritablitlity which can drive others away right when you need their caring.

Things to tell yourself till you believe it:

1. I don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.......Self-compassion invites you to appreciate yourself for who are-idiosyncrasies, imperfection and all- because those things are what make you You. "Be what you is, cause if you is what you ain't, then you ain't what you is."
(Try saying that one three times real fast!)

2. Yes, it hurts, but it will pass....rather than blocking out negative emotions, self-compassionate people turn and face those feelings full-on. Embracing the pain, and allowing it to "just be" actually makes the bad feelings pass much more quickly. That's because it isn't the pain that's actually the problem- it's the things we do to escape from feeling it, such as overspending or overeating, that end up wreaking havoc in our lives. Next time something really hurts, instead of distracting yourself, try to really feel the emotions without judging them or explaining them away.

3. I will mistakes along the way.....use when you find yourself back-sliding into negative behavior patterns from your past. Everyone has weaknesses, and self-compassion means accepting your own with an open heart. You would never use the harsh condemning words to a dear friend that you would use to "beat yourself up". Remember what you have said to friends and love ones to offer solace in a similiar situation....this will make you kinder to yourself, better able to overcome any obstacle.

4. I learn a little more with every mistake I make....People who practice self-compassion tend to view setbacks as learning opportunities (rather than fatal failings) and feedback as useful information (instead of a personal attacks). Lessons learned from errors and critiques are applied in the future, reducing the likelihood of repeated mistakes.

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  • I'm Lazy Daisy
  • From Elizabethton, TN, United States
  • I am a married, empty Nester, missionary, living in the hillside of Tennessee, with lots of homespun humor and hopefully some insights!
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