We live in a fast-paced world where people expect instant solutions to every problem. We have forgotten the importance of time (and patience especially to ourselves) in solving our problems. This is especially true when we deal with our personal problems whether it be emotional, physical, or mental. In our desire to speed up the process of healing from breakups, grief from loss or death, depression, and other difficult situations, we prevent ourselves from experiencing a full recovery. Or worse, we may end up reopening old wounds, if not add another one.
Healing takes time and most importantly, it requires self-compassion. We are all a work in progress. We all have our own timetable. This is why when it comes to healing from emotional problems or recovering from illness whether it be mental or physical we need to be kind and patient with ourselves.
Practising kindness to yourself is the foundation for healing and personal growth. According to research, being kind to oneself has mental and physical benefits.
Why Being Kind to Yourself Is Important
It takes time, patience, and determination to rise above the blues. And all along your healing process, being kind to yourself is not only helpful but essential. Here’s why:
Improves Mental Well Being
Self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression. What you think influences how you act. Your thoughts can greatly impact your mind and body. Focusing on negativity, self-deprecating thoughts such as not feeling good enough increase higher levels of anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, having positive and uplifting thoughts makes you feel good about yourself. Consequently, you can experience more positive outcomes when you are healing emotionally or when you begin to work on overcoming whatever issue you may have.
Allows Us to See Our Progress
When you practice kindness to yourself, you set realistic expectations of yourself. You remove expectations that you should be like or act like others. Setting realistic expectations is important for you to recognize the progress you are making along the way. You accept that healing is a process and you are taking things one step at a time.
Good for the Heart, Promotes Healing and Reduces Stress
Self-compassion through positive self-thoughts is found to reduce heart rate and sweat response based on a study done by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford which can mean a healthier heart that may lessen the risk of heart disease. Findings suggest that being kind to oneself turns off the body’s threat response and puts it in a safe and relaxed state, which is important for healing and regeneration.
Moreover, stress hormones such as cortisol are produced in our adrenal glands when the body is in a fight or flight mode. Cortisol is directly associated with weight gain and heart disease. Being kind to yourself decreases the production of cortisol and health issues such as adrenal fatigue or gut problems that may follow.
Your physical health can affect your mental health and vice versa. So being in good physical health is important in maintaining wellbeing. Being physically healthy also promotes emotional healing.
How to Practice Kindness to Yourself While Healing
Practising kindness to yourself means acknowledging that we’re all human. We make mistakes and instead of putting ourselves down for our failures or getting frustrated when things don’t go as planned, we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. Here are ways you can be kind to yourself while healing:
Be mindful of your thoughts
You can be your harshest critic. When your inner critic tells you you’re not going to make it, you’re not doing enough…take a step back and check the validity of these statements. Is there enough proof to support this belief? Chances are you are just being too hard on yourself.
Replace these negative thoughts with encouraging words such as, “you’ve got this,” “don’t give up,” “you can always do better next time.” If it helps, check out this self-reflection guide too.
Take things one step at a time
You want to get things over with and move forward, wanting to have that one big moment of catharsis when you are able to let everything go and finally be free. But this often does not happen. You want to be healed but do not want to go through the process of healing.
Healing is not one big moment but a journey that you have to embrace. This means you understand that the healing process happens one step at a time. There are no shortcuts. You need to trust in the process while practising self-compassion. Free yourself from judgments. Refrain from judging your emotions, instead, understand where they are coming from.
Taking things slowly and one step at a time are both needed for you to fully address unresolved past experiences and build adequate resources of safety and connection in the present.
Treat yourself to some time off
Oftentimes, people get themselves busy with work to take their minds away from problems. But remember that you should also take time off, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can take a walk in nature or give yourself a little change in scenery. You don’t even have to go out of town, but simply go somewhere you don’t usually go. A little personal time can inspire a whole lot of clarity too.
Practice daily affirmations
Examples of daily affirmations include: “I am worthy just as I am,” “I am making progress.” You can also write a caring note to yourself and place it somewhere you can always see.
A grateful heart promotes healing. You can have a more positive mindset and be more motivated to do things that can help you move forward. You can keep a gratitude journal or simply make it a habit to write down five things you’re grateful for every day.
How Intuitive Healing Helps
Healing from trauma or recovering from emotional wounds takes time, and you need not be afraid to seek help such as therapy and Intuitive Healing. If you have the tendency to be hard on yourself or have self-esteem and/or self-worth issues, this is usually caused by earlier experiences. Intuitive Healing sessions can help address that by releasing negative emotions stuck in our bodies so they no longer hold power over our well-being. You’ll find it easier to practice self-compassion while healing.
Be kind to yourself and see the difference not only in your healing journey but in your life in general. You are worthy of love. Make yourself a priority in your healing journey because it is only then that you can achieve permanent healing and truly move forward.