How to be kind to yourself and change your life


The first step is awareness. Think about what you would say to a friend who is struggling, perhaps due to a relationship problem or a difficult boss at work. You might give them a hug, tell them it’s just a bad week, things will improve and they are a great person. You may make them a cup of tea and listen to them… Now consider what you do for yourself when you are struggling. Chances are that you give yourself a hard time, expect yourself to get over your pain or disappointment quickly and use self-critical language, such as ‘why do you always make a mess of things?’. Do you see the difference? You wouldn’t say those mean things to anyone else.

“I was familiar with displacement activities and dismissing my feelings, but I had never thought it would be a good idea to self-soothe”

Be your own buddy

A useful tip when developing self-compassion in a difficult situation is to remember the prompt ‘what would I say to a

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