Changing our behavior is hard work. And sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, it doesn’t lead to the results we want. Practicing self-compassion–accepting yourself “just as you are”–is an important addition to your weight-loss tool kit. Research even shows its significant role in helping us meeting our health goals (including shedding unwanted pounds).
Says Coach Kathleen, “Most of us don’t get kind and compassionate messages throughout the day.” Instead, we’re told what we can buy or do to make ourselves better. This helps strengthen the belief that we aren’t good enough or that we need to change to be more lovable. “It can feel uncomfortable or even like you’re a fraud if you try to love and be compassionate toward yourself,” she says.
If being hard on yourself helped change behavior, we’d recommend it. But research shows that it actually gets in the way of creating long-lasting healthy habits. So, since many of us didn’t learn self-compassion or self-love, it makes sense that we need to practice. Here are 15 ways from our coach team to help you get started:
All of these ideas also apply to when you’re sticking to your goals, doing “everything right” and still not getting the results you want. Give some (or all) of them a try to see what works best for you. Remember, trying something new or different takes courage. And being kind, compassionate and loving towards yourself helps fuel your willingness to keep doing it.
For even more ways to cultivate self-care and compassion, check out Dr. Kristin Neff’s website. She’s done a lot of research on the benefits of being nice to yourself (and how to get better at it).