In Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power and Thrive (2021,) University of Texas-Austin’s Kristin Neff argues that self-acceptance and self-compassion—being good to ourselves—makes us more likely to adopt healthy behaviors.
Neff summarizes numerous studies that have suggested that self-compassion is associated with overall well-being: “The more you’re able to accept yourself, the more you’re able to make positive, healthy changes in your life.”
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the relationship with yourself. Learn to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Put your needs on top; give yourself compassion and comfort. Listen to your restlessness. Feelings of agitation can lead to a new life of purpose. True self-awareness can help you learn what drives you, what excites you and motivates you.
Neff suggests creating moments within each day and practicing meaningful self-care. Do something nice for yourself: take a walk in the woods, meditate, play with a pet, call a friend for support, journal, or indulge in a hot bath.
Idea for Impact: Pay attention to your self-talk and speak to yourself the way you would to someone you love, “What do you need right now?” Dwell upon that question and allow an authentic answer to emerge. Then, ask, “What’s one brave decision you can make now to get unstuck and move in the direction of your goals? What’s stopping you from getting started?”