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Stop Being so Hard on Yourself

By Sandy Schroeder

Being hard on yourself is something we learn early. We want very much to please our family and friends, and really feel bad when we make mistakes. If you have carried this habit into your everyday habits, it may be time to stop and regroup.

Harvard Health doctors suggest trying a little self-compassion. You might be surprised at how much better you feel when you do. Giving yourself permission to fail lets you start over and move forward instead of dwelling on the past.

Ways to Start

Here are some things you can do to make life a little more pleasant when you feel you've failed.

Eat something delicious and healthy - Make the effort to prepare a dish that you and your family love that's filled with veggies.

Do a body scan for stress - Stretch out on your mat and slowly work your way up from your toes to the top of the head, checking in with each part of your body. As you move along, feel your body weight relax on the mat. When you reach the top of your head, stretch and move into other exercises or yoga poses that you like.

Take a thoughtful walk - Take a new route and really look around at the flowers and trees. Put all of your tasks on hold and just enjoy the moment. Absorb the sun's rays or a gentle breeze and make a note to come this way again.

Treat yourself like a good friend - When a friend suffers, or needs a boost, you are probably right there to listen and help. So why not do the same for yourself? When life just gets unbelievably complicated and tiring, take the time to think about everything, giving yourself plenty of room to self-correct and move on.

Make mindfulness a daily refuge - Take a few minutes early in the morning or late in the evening and let your mind circle through your thoughts. This process can be especially comforting if it has been a painful day. When you meditate every day, you may find yourself thinking more clearly and moving ahead with less hesitation, free from hang-ups.

What Happens Next

Harvard Health researchers have found the stronger our self-compassion system is, the better our health, relationships and well-being may be too. Anxiety and depression levels drop, replaced by more interaction with others, more confidence, and a deeper sense of self respect.

I think the biggest benefit of all for me is remembering to laugh. When I take care of myself, the whole world seems lighter and funnier.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flower Mound, Tex.

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