Making Friends with Discomfort: Self-Compassion for Anxiety
Self-compassion is an important part of living a healthy life, but it can often be overlooked and neglected. Self-compassion is the practice of being kind and understanding towards oneself, even in difficult or challenging times. It is an important part of self-care and mental health.
The practice of self-compassion is especially important in times of anxiety. Anxiety can be overwhelming and can lead to feelings of self-doubt and criticism. Self-compassion can help to combat these negative thoughts and can help to create a sense of calm and peace. Ashley Vaden, a therapist at the Mindfulness Center, explains that self-compassion is a “superpower” for addressing the alarm and anxiety that we experience.
One exercise that Vaden recommends for practicing self-compassion is a seven-minute meditation. This meditation involves checking in with your body and noticing the different sensations that you feel. The point of this exercise is not to try to change the sensations, but to build your tolerance for them and to increase your interoceptive awareness. This exercise also encourages people to notice the lightness in their bodies, and not only the tension and alarm.
Self-compassion can also be practiced in other ways. It is important to be mindful of the language that you use when speaking to yourself. Instead of being self-critical, it is important to use positive and encouraging words. It is also important to take time for yourself and to do things that make you feel good. This could include anything from reading a book to going for a walk.
Embrace discomfort for growth
One way to practice self-compassion is to embrace discomfort. Discomfort is a normal part of life and it is important to learn how to accept and embrace it. Doing so can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and can help to promote growth and self-improvement.
Embracing discomfort can help:
- Cultivate self-compassion and can help to create a sense of safety and security
- Promote self-awareness and self-reflection
- Promote resilience and can help to increase our ability to cope with difficult situations
Protect your energy with armor
One way to protect your energy is to use armor. Armor is a form of protection that can help to prevent any negative energy from entering your space. It can also help to protect you from any external influences that may be draining your energy. The armor can be visualized in any shape you desire, such as a pumpkin, triangle or any other shape. Visualizing the armor can help to create a sense of safety and security, and can help to create a force field that will protect you from any negative energy or influences.
Another way to protect your energy is to cleanse yourself of other people’s energy. This is especially important for those who are highly sensitive or empathic. It is important to be aware of how other people are feeling and to be mindful of any energy that you may be absorbing from them. There are various ways to cleanse yourself of other people’s energy, such as taking a salt bath, using essential oils, or using visualization techniques.
Intentionally protect your energy
Armor can be an effective way to protect your energy. This can be done by creating a mental force field around yourself, or by using physical objects to create a sense of protection. For example, you can imagine a shield of light around your self to help protect you from any negative energy that may be coming your way. You can also use physical objects such as crystals or jewelry to provide a sense of protection. By wearing these items, you can create a sense of security and safety and can help to protect your energy.
Cleansing yourself of other people’s energy is another way to protect your energy. This can be done through activities such as taking a shower and imagining that the water is washing away any negative energy that you may be carrying. You can also use sound baths and sound bowls to help clear away any negative energy. By using sound to create a vibration, you can help to neutralize any negative energy that may be lingering in your space.
Being mindful of how you are feeling is also important when it comes to protecting your energy. Paying attention to your thoughts and feelings can help you to recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Once you have identified these feelings, you can take steps to redirect your attention and to focus on something more positive. By intentionally choosing to focus on the positive, you can help to protect your energy and to create a sense of peace and calm.
Protecting your energy is an important part of self-care and mental health. By using armor, cleansing yourself of other people’s energy, and being mindful of how you are feeling, you can take steps to protect your energy and to promote a sense of peace and calm. By intentionally taking steps to protect your energy, you can help to create a sense of safety and security and can help to promote self-compassion and personal growth.
Notice, name, distract, refocus, repeat
One way to protect your energy is to practice the concept of “notice, name, distract, refocus, and repeat.” By using this concept, you can take steps to protect your energy and to create a healthier relationship with yourself and with your thoughts. The idea is that when you notice a thought or feeling that is causing you distress, you name it. This allows you to be mindful of the thought and to take a step back from it. Once you have named the thought or feeling, you can then distract yourself with something else. This could be a physical activity, such as going for a walk or doing some yoga, or it could be a mental activity, such as reading a book or listening to music. Once you have distracted yourself, you can then refocus your attention on something positive or something that brings you joy. This could be a hobby or activity that you enjoy, or it could be something that helps you to relax and to feel at peace. Finally, you can repeat this process as often as needed.
By using this process, you can take steps to protect your energy and to create a healthier relationship with yourself. This process can help to create a sense of safety and security and can help to promote self-compassion and personal growth. Additionally, by using this process, you can create a stronger neural pathway for more positive thoughts and feelings, rather than allowing yourself to be pulled into a spiral of negative thoughts and feelings.
Be kind to yourself
Self-compassion is an important part of self-care and mental health. It is the practice of treating yourself with kindness and understanding, and it can be a powerful tool for healing and growth. Self-compassion involves recognizing our own humanity and understanding that we are all imperfect, and that mistakes are part of the human experience. It is about being kind and gentle with ourselves and recognizing that we are all worthy of love and acceptance, regardless of our mistakes or failures.
One way to practice self-compassion is to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Taking the time to pause and observe your thoughts and feelings can help you to recognize when you may be engaging in negative self-talk or thinking patterns that are not helpful. It can also help you to recognize when you may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and to take steps to address and manage these feelings.
Another way to practice self-compassion is to be mindful of your physical needs. Taking the time to practice mindful movements, such as walking, stretching, or yoga can help to reduce stress levels and can help to promote a sense of well-being. Additionally, taking the time to engage in activities that bring you joy, such as listening to music, spending time with friends, or engaging in creative activities, can help to foster a sense of self-compassion.
Explore with curiosity and wonder
One of the most important aspects of self-compassion is to explore with curiosity and wonder. By taking the time to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with curiosity and wonder, you can gain insight into yourself and your life. This exploration can lead to a greater understanding of yourself and your journey.
When exploring with curiosity and wonder, it is important to be mindful and present. This means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgment. It also means being open to learning new things and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. When exploring with curiosity and wonder, you can be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever arises.
Exploring with curiosity and wonder can help:
- Create a sense of peace and contentment
- Develop greater self-awareness
- Foster self-compassion
Love and compassion are key
Love and compassion are key components of self-compassion. Through self-compassion, we can learn to accept ourselves and our experiences with kindness and understanding, rather than judgment and criticism. We can also learn to be kind and understanding to others, recognizing that everyone is on their own journey and we all have our struggles.
Love and compassion can be cultivated through a variety of practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, and self-reflection. Mindfulness can help us to be present and aware of our thoughts and feelings, without judgment or criticism. Meditation can help us to cultivate a sense of inner peace and contentment, and to become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. Finally, self-reflection can help us to gain insight into our lives, and to recognize our strengths, weaknesses, and potential for growth.
Through these practices, we can learn to be more compassionate and loving towards ourselves and others. We can learn to recognize our worth and value and to accept our imperfections. We can also learn to be kind and understanding to those around us and to recognize that everyone is on their own journey.
Unconditional loving presence
One way to cultivate this type of unconditional loving presence is to practice meditation or mindfulness. By focusing on the breath or body, we can become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, and learn to be more compassionate and accepting of ourselves. Additionally, we can use self-reflection to explore our thoughts and feelings and to gain a better understanding of our experiences.
Another way to cultivate a sense of unconditional loving presence is to use the power of our intuition. By taking the time to tune into our own inner wisdom, we can gain insight into our experiences and develop a deeper understanding of our needs and desires. Additionally, we can use our intuition to help us to connect more deeply with others, and to be more open and accepting of their perspectives and experiences.
Megan hosts the SOS podcast and has invited Ashley Vaden as a special guest. Ashley is a marriage and family therapist, discusses the use of self-compassion for healing anxiety, and demonstrates a 7-minute meditation exercise to build one’s tolerance for body sensations and emotions.