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One Simple Change: Be Kind To Yourself

02.24.14 One Simple Change: Be Kind To Yourself

Guest post: In this second post in a series excerpted from her book, One Simple Change, Winnie Abramson reminds us how important it is to treat ourselves with the same love and compassion we give to others.

Consider her wise words, then pledge to be extra kind to yourself this week. You could win some seriously sweet gear for yourself from Mightynest. 

Valentine’s Day is behind us and I am betting you doled out lots of love to your family this month. But have you been showing yourself enough kindness? Many of us are unnecessarily hard on ourselves on a daily basis. We don’t treat ourselves with respect or compassion. I personally have a history of being quite unkind to myself because my “inner voice” used to engage in overwhelmingly negative banter. Do you have an inner voice that’s overly critical, too?

If the answer is yes, it can be life changing when you start to train your inner monologue to be kind instead of harsh. What does it mean to be kind to yourself exactly? Well for starters, being kind to yourself means not judging yourself harshly for not being perfect. It also means not holding yourself to impossibly high standards. And it means putting an end to comparing yourself to others and to beating yourself up for making a mistake, or for not being good enough at something.Being kind to yourself means being your own cheerleader. When you are consistently kind to yourself, you don’t need others to validate your efforts and boost your self-confidence, because you can do those things for yourself.

Banishing negative self-talk isn’t something that can be accomplished in one day, though; it can take time. Here are some steps to take that have worked for me: Surround yourself with encouraging, supportive friends; recite positive affirmations every day (don’t knock it until you try it!); learn how to be in the moment; make a conscious effort to choose optimism over pessimism; and practice gratitude. Like I said, this all takes time. It is a process.

Let’s be clear that being kind to yourself does not mean you give yourself permission to spend the day on the couch eating bonbons, though. Quite the contrary: being kind to yourself means respecting your body, so that you take excellent care of yourself. Being kind to yourself means you are more likely to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. When you are kind to yourself, you’ll feel better mentally and physically. You’ll be more likely to excel at all that you do, and you’ll be better able to take good care of others. 

For many more ways to easily improve your personal (and the planet's) health, be sure to check out my book One Simple Change!

(Text adapted with permission from One Simple Change by Winnie Abramson. Copyright 2013 by Chronicle Books.

Tell us: How are you, or would you like to be, kind to yourself? And how might that translate to how your are to others? Take the kindness pledge, and you could win a big box of ways ( in the form of PVC-free yoga mat, lavender lotion, facial mask, porcelain to-go tea mug, organic sugar scrub and Revitalise tea) to take care of yourself!


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