Is self-compassion a tool you've heard lots about but have sort of always shrugged your shoulders at? Yeah, that used to be me! But self-compassion is one of the tools that helped me the most in creating a healthy relationship with anxiety, and most importantly, with myself. And Kimberley Quinlan also had a similar experience.
Kimberley is an anxiety and OCD therapist and specialist. And in this conversation, she dives into the power of self-compassion, and she shares some exercises for how to start practicing it. And don't think this is just an episode where she shares exercises for how to speak more kindly to yourself, she also shares that practicing self-compassion is hugely physical, too! So let's get started!
Self-Compassion Exercises: A Great Tool for When the Others Don't "Work"
What Is Self-Compassion?
When it comes to anxiety recovery, there are lots of tools use can use to recover. Self-compassion is one of those tools! And in my opinion, self-compassion is a tool that all of us will benefit from. Not only will you benefit from it, but it'll also help you when other tools aren't working. You might be wondering...what is self-compassion? So let's talk about it! Self-compassion is all about holding space for your struggles and suffering. It's a practice of meeting your struggles with kindness and understanding. I think that so often, we can be so harsh to ourselves. And this tends to make us feel worse, and like we're failing that much harder. But self-compassion is here to change that!
How To Hold Space For Yourself When You're Facing Hard Things
Kimberly said something that really stuck with me... "If you're able to gently hold space for yourself when you're having a down, you're more likely to get up". I think Kimberley summarized the importance of self-compassion in that one sentence! So now you might be wondering how you can start to hold space for yourself during the hard stuff.
Kimberley said that learning to hold space for yourself can be tough at first because most of us often struggle with being self-critical! But by taking the time to acknowledge and accept how we're feeling throughout the day, we're off to a great start. Acts of self-compassion don't have to be big to be helpful! Kimberley says that for her, holding a small stone is an act of self-compassion because she finds it soothing. For you, this might look like reading a book on your lunch break, giving yourself a hug, or taking a moment to pause for a deep breath during a stressful day.
A Helpful Question To Ask Yourself To Start Being More Self-Compassionate
Most of us are struggling with something...whether it's anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, or something else! And so often, our immediate response is to push these struggles away. It's natural to not want to feel the pain of the difficult things we go through...but it's also important to feel all of our emotions. Kimberley shared a helpful question to ask yourself if you're trying to be more self-compassionate... can you let the pain be there and practice holding space for it? Because when we make space for these emotions, we start to realize that they aren't the enemy. And we become a whole lot more understanding of the things we're struggling with, which is so important during anxiety recovery.
Make sure to tune in and listen to the full episode for all of the helpful insights from Kimberley! And until next time, friend, keep taking healthy action!
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