Some days, loving yourself is easier said than done. (Old habits die hard.) This simple, scientifically grounded technique1 will help you treat yourself like a beloved friend.
4 Simple Steps to Be Kind To Yourself
- Think of a time when a close friend has felt bad about themselves or struggled in some way. Imagine what you’d say to them and how you would want them to feel.
- Now think of a specific time when you felt bad or struggled in some way. What do you typically think and do? What do you say to yourself? (Even your tone of voice matters.)
- Is there a difference between the two answers? Why? Ask yourself why you would treat yourself any differently than you’d treat a friend.
- Close your eyes and take a breath. Now write down how you might respond to your own struggles in the same way that you would respond to your friend.
The next time you’re feeling down or discouraged, try speaking to yourself in a more compassionate, understanding way. If you wouldn't say it to a friend, don't say it to yourself.
1. Neff KD, Germer CK. A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of a mindful self –compassion program. Journal of Clinical Psychology 2013;69(1):28-44.