HOW TO: Direct Kindness at Yourself
The daily grind. Traffic jams. Crowded subway cars. Working late. Being late to work. And on and on…
Stressors like these are more or less a staple of our lives. Though we’re a society obsessed with getting “rid” of stress, the fact of the matter is some stress can’t be erased.
It can, however, be managed. In EVERYDAY KINDNESS, Dr. Stephanie Dowrick—a leading psychologist and spiritual leader—explains that, if we strengthen our sense of self-worth, we can rise up to meet any challenge.
Establishing this secure foundation is easier said than done. Adopting a self-critical attitude under the weight of external pressures is a common human inclination. Dowrick suggests that a change of perspective (paired with a few day to day adjustments) is all we need to reverse this attitude. In EVERYDAY KINDNESS,, she reminds us that remembering to integrate a dose of self-love into our general outlook is crucial to developing a happier and more confident life.
In our day to day lives, we often find ourselves caught in a web of obligations, duties, responsibilities, and countless other commitments. For obvious reasons, balancing life is a tricky ordeal! Carving out a moment for “stillness” in our hectic schedules enables us to take refuge from the demands of others. Each method of “stillness” is unique and varies from person to person. Whatever your method is, make sure it gives you a chance to take a break from the noise.
We’ve all had our bouts with perfectionism: this problem could’ve been solved faster or that situation could’ve been treated more efficiently. Constructive criticism is useful for illuminating areas that need improvement; but learning to distinguish the difference between self-criticism and self-reflection is both a gift and a survival tool. Managing everyone’s expectations (including our own) offers us insight to the things that can be changed and grants us the opportunity to accept the things that can’t. Bottom line: go a little easier on yourself!
Set Aside Some “Me” Time
Deadlines? Met them. Bills? Paid them. Dreams? Well, between work and family obligations we don’t really have time to fulfill them. Right? At least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s easy to hide behind responsibilities as reasons to push those painting sessions off for another day, but setting some time aside to pursue dreams that have been left on the backburner is a gift of kindness that recharges our vitality and reawakens our sense of identity.